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Alcoholic dog gets rescued after suffering from 'alcohol withdrawal'

By Melanie Uson Published Apr 11, 2023 5:23 pm

Two dogs in Plymouth, United Kingdom suffered from canine alcohol withdrawal following the death of their owner. 

Animal shelter Woodside Animal Welfare Trust posted on April 5 the tragic story of Coco, a two-year-old rescued Labrador mix canine that suffered from alcohol addiction.

According to The Telegraph, Coco and his canine friend had consumed left out alcohol drinks of their owner, but the animal shelter said it isn’t clear how the dogs ended up in the tragic situation. 

“No-one knows the specifics on how these dogs got into the situation with alcohol but we do know that without our care Coco would likely have not survived this heart-breaking ordeal,” they wrote. 

In their post, Coco and his canine friend experienced "fitting"—an involuntary movement of dogs that occurs when they are suffering from a disease, this may include jerking, stiffening, muscle twitching, and loss of consciousness, among others.

“After arriving with his canine pal following the death of his owner, he and his companion became quickly unwell. Coco's friend was repeatedly fitting and soon after Coco also started to fit,” they wrote. Unfortunately, Coco’s friend didn’t survive.

Coco spent four weeks under their care, and later on found out that Coco was exhibiting symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. 

“Coco continued to be seriously unwell and required round the clock care. It became clear that he was suffering from symptoms that all pointed to alcohol withdrawal. He spent four weeks sedated to help with his withdrawal symptoms and to reduce the risk of further fits.” 

“We are so thankful that we are now out of danger and Coco is off all medication and is now starting to behave like a normal dog,” they continued, but stressed that Coco hasn’t recovered yet mentally. 

They said that Coco is "not yet ready" for adoption, and while he has recovered physically, "mentally he is still very anxious at times."

Currently, Coco is still under the care of the shelter under the Dunroamin Special Care Unit.

What to do if your dog drinks alcohol

The American Kennel Club noted that while "dogs are not innately drawn to alcoholic beverages," they are "more attracted" to fruit-based drinks and food with alcohol as a key ingredient.

It clarified that if your pet accidentally ingests alcohol, "the amount of ethanol needed to cause intoxication varies depending on its concentration in the substance ingested."

But if your dogs show symptoms of alchol toxicity—such as depression or lethargy, drooling, vomiting, weakness, decreased respiratory rate, Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hypotension (low blood pressure), and Hypothermia (low body temperature)—you should take your dog to the vet immediately.