Hair-of-the-dog? Close escape after dog gets DRUNK on homebrew beer - 'He wolfed it down!'

The 12 year old rescue dog’s body began overheating, making him pant uncontrollably and putting him at risk of fatal blood-clotting. Bruno’s life hung in the balance because of the hops used to flavour beer are toxic to dogs. Luckily, Bruno’s owners managed to get him emergency treatment and vets had him back on his feet in the time it takes to shake off a hang-over.

Veterinary surgeon Azzurra Naso and nurse Nisha Cooper were on duty when the seriously ill Staffie was brought into the Vets Now surgery in Harrow, north west London, where he was put on an intravenous drip and kept under close watch, with fears that he could go into a state of hyperthermia making his blood clot.

Speaking this week, nurse Cooper described Bruno’s plight, explaining: “When Bruno came in his temperature was high and he was panting excessively. We cooled him down immediately before inducing vomiting to rid his body of the toxins.

“Our diagnostic tests showed a reduction in renal function although, thankfully, this improved following intravenous fluid therapy. We monitored him very closely and as the night wore on his condition improved rapidly. It’s great to hear he’s back to full fitness but his case shows just how dangerous hops can be to dogs.”

Bruno’s owners Kerri and Frank, who live in Buckinghamshire and have asked not to have their surnames revealed, say they always have to be on watch because the dog eats anything the moment their backs are turned.

Business analyst Kerri explained how the ravenous pup literally bit off more than he could chew when he lapped up the dregs from her husband’s home-made ale.

She said: “Bruno’s got a cast iron stomach – there’s not much he hasn’t eaten over the years. We’ve had him eat a whole bulb of garlic, a whole pack of butter, banana skins. You name it, he’s eaten it and never with any problems.

“But the hops from the homebrew was totally different – he was really ill.”

While the dangers posed by alcohol are well stressed to dog owners, the threats posed by some of their ingredients will come as a surprise. Hops are an essential part of crafting beer but the plant, scientific name Humulus lupulus, is a member of the hemp family, along with cannabis, and is especially dangerous to dogs.

With home-brewing becoming increasingly popular, pet owners are urged to be aware that only a small amount of hops can be fatal. Death has been reported in dogs poisoned by hops within six hours of ingestion.

Kerri went on to explain how it took only a small amount of spilt hops for Bruno to become seriously ill.

She continued: “Frank had a bowl of spent hops from the bottom of the ale he was brewing – which are called ‘trub’ – and he accidentally spilt them.

“In the few seconds it took him to get a cloth and clear it up, Bruno had come bounding in and wolfed most of them down. You’d never have realised that something like that could be such a problem for a dog.

“It was only a small amount of ‘trub’ that was spilt but less than a 100ml can be fatal for a dog, so it’s totally worth people knowing that.”

Bruno needed an intravenous drip rather than a traditional hair-of-the-dog to get him over his boozy hangover, and he was soon back in the swim next day, taking a dip in a relaxing pool.

Kerri added: “Bruno is 12 now and we’ve had him since he was four. He was a rescue dog whose previous owner couldn’t look after him anymore.

“He’s part of our family  and I can’t imagine life without him. I think he’s had a very lucky escape.”

Vets Now in Harrow, where Bruno received treatment, is one of 60 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur. All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.

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