Dexter rushed to emergency vets after stealing food from kitchen worktop

A greedy puppy needed emergency treatment after wolfing down pizza dough which expanded in his stomach almost killing him.

Six-month-old labrador Dexter stole the homemade pizza bases from the kitchen worktop.

But the raw bread dough swelled so much in his stomach that only the speedy actions of his owners and our emergency vets and vet nurses saved him from potentially dire consequences.

Now Dexter’s relieved owner Matthew Hogg is warning other pet owners to seek expert advice and not delay in getting help if they find themselves in a similar predicament.

“It was just a normal chaotic family evening, trying to get dinner made and the kids ready,” said 45-year-old Matthew, from Salisbury.

“My wife Danielle had made pizza dough and spread it out on two baking trays at the back of the worktop. Dexter normally lives at the other end of the kitchen, which is separated by a stairgate.

“Unfortunately, we hadn’t noticed I’d left it open when we went up to sort the kids out. Dexter had obviously grown a couple more centimetres than we’d realised and when we came down he’d managed to reach far enough over the worktop to get to the pizza dough.

“It’s a mystery how he scoffed them down so quickly and without making any mess. The trays were completely empty and he was sitting in his crate looking sheepish.”

Matthew admits his initial reaction was annoyance and wondering what the family were going to have for dinner. It was only about 30 minutes later that he and Danielle started to be concerned about potential consequences.

“I knew that things like chocolate were poisonous but really wasn’t aware of what bread dough could do,” admitted Matthew. “Danielle started looking it up on the internet and found the advice was quite muddled.

“Some people were saying not to worry, while others were saying it was much more serious. We decided it probably wasn’t safe to wait until the next day with this growing and fermenting in his stomach.”

Matthew called the Vets Now clinic in Salisbury, one of a nationwide network of hospitals and clinics open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and was advised to bring Dexter in immediately.

“He was just burping a bit in the back of the car, but the gravity of the situation was sinking in,” said Matthew.

“The vet wanted to know exactly when he’d eaten the dough and we were apparently right on the edge of the window of him being able to just have an injection to make him vomit up the dough.”

Image of Dexter the dog who ate pizza dough for vets now article on dog ate pizza dough
Dexter needed emergency treatement after the uncooked pizza dough he had scoffed expanded in his stomach ©Vets Now

While eating unbaked bread dough can result in a bloated stomach in pets, it can also lead to gastric-dilatation volvulus, or GDV, which is a very serious and potentially fatal twisting of the stomach.

In addition, the alcohol from the fermenting yeast can be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature and potentially even seizures.

Vet nurse Larna Russell, who was part of the team at Vets Now in Salisbury who treated Dexter, said his owners did the right thing in urgently calling for veterinary help.

“Time is of the essence in cases like this because once the dough is exposed to a warm environment, like a dog’s stomach, it can cause serious problems as the dough expands more quickly than usual.

“It’s great to hear Dexter is much better. We had a spate of poisoning cases that night and, sadly, some dogs weren’t as lucky as he was.”

Thanks to the speedy action, Dexter was soon none the worse after the pizza panic.

But Matthew insists owners should never delay.

“We understand it would have needed a much more substantial and difficult treatment under anaesthetic if we’d waited and the outcome could have been different,” added Matthew. “The internet can be useful, but it can also be very confusing, so getting proper professional advice is vital.

“It was so reassuring to have Vets Now there at that time of night.”