Author Topic: Caution! Sourdough Starter and Dogs  (Read 913 times)

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Offline red kiosk

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Caution! Sourdough Starter and Dogs
« on: November 30, 2013, 06:54:31 PM »
A precaution for those using sourdough starters and owning dogs…

Today, after feeding my four sourdough starters (Ischia, Camaldoli, Cape Fear & GF Ischia), I temporarily set them on a chair next to our dining room table while I cleaned off the table top. My daughter and wife walked in and said let's go get our Christmas tree. Great idea I thought and we left to get our tree. When we came home, my wife found the empty Ischia jar on the dog bed with two guilty looking dogs (90lb. yellow lab and 65lb. golden retriever). As I was lamenting (well, I can't post the words I used without getting banned) the demise of my well-established Ischia starter, my daughter decided to do a Google search to see if there would be any problem with the dogs injesting the sourdough starter. OMG, rising dough and especially activating sourdough starter is EXTREMELY deadly to dogs. Besides causing extreme acid/base imbalances, it causes dangerous bloat, obstructions in the GI tract and the fermentation process can cause an immediate and drastic increase of alcohol in the blood stream, resulting in a serious and often fatal alcohol poisoning. We had to rush both dogs to the 24 hour emergency vet clinic  to induce vomiting. Only the yellow lab had the sourdough starter (and pieces of paper towel) in his stomach. Thankfully, the starter I fed was in a dormant state after three weeks in the refrigerator and I had just fed it before we left to get the tree. Luckily, both my dogs are large and the amount of recently fed starter ingested was only 300 grams. I would shudder to think of what might happen with a starter in a more active state and smaller dogs. If this ever happens with one of your dogs, immediately feed them ice chips to reduce the yeast activation and call your vet. Hope this warning helps someone in the future. Take care!

Jim
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 08:48:51 PM by red kiosk »
The pathologically precise are annoying, but right!


Offline arspistorica

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Re: Caution! Sourdough Starter and Dogs
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 09:42:25 PM »
A precaution for those using sourdough starters and owning dogs…

Today, after feeding my four sourdough starters (Ischia, Camaldoli, Cape Fear & GF Ischia), I temporarily set them on a chair next to our dining room table while I cleaned off the table top. My daughter and wife walked in and said let's go get our Christmas tree. Great idea I thought and we left to get our tree. When we came home, my wife found the empty Ischia jar on the dog bed with two guilty looking dogs (90lb. yellow lab and 65lb. golden retriever). As I was lamenting (well, I can't post the words I used without getting banned) the demise of my well-established Ischia starter, my daughter decided to do a Google search to see if there would be any problem with the dogs injesting the sourdough starter. OMG, rising dough and especially activating sourdough starter is EXTREMELY deadly to dogs. Besides causing extreme acid/base imbalances, it causes dangerous bloat, obstructions in the GI tract and the fermentation process can cause an immediate and drastic increase of alcohol in the blood stream, resulting in a serious and often fatal alcohol poisoning. We had to rush both dogs to the 24 hour emergency vet clinic  to induce vomiting. Only the yellow lab had the sourdough starter (and pieces of paper towel) in his stomach. Thankfully, the starter I fed was in a dormant state after three weeks in the refrigerator and I had just fed it before we left to get the tree. Luckily, both my dogs are large and the amount of recently fed starter ingested was only 300 grams. I would shudder to think of what might happen with a starter in a more active state and smaller dogs. If this ever happens with one of your dogs, immediately feed them ice chips to reduce the yeast activation and call your vet. Hope this warning helps someone in the future. Take care!

Jim

I'm not sure the information you found online about canines ingesting starters is true in the slightest; it sounds cautionary and folkloric, more than anything. (I have seen plenty of dogs eat starters, raw dough, etc.)

This isn't the point of me responding; just thought I'd share that researchers have discovered Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis as a normally-occurring LAB in canine fecal samples for the first time. (It was once thought that Lb SF was only recovered from and within sourdough systems, but new research in the past two years has found it in a variety of places, dogs included.  Of course, just because a strain is recovered from a pet's GI tract or stool sample does not mean this is the same strain that ends up in our sourdoughs; it could be a canine-specific strain.)
"Senza il mio territorio sarei solo un panificatore."
                                  -Franco Pepe

Offline ThePieman

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Re: Caution! Sourdough Starter and Dogs
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 08:24:54 AM »
Sour dough starter and yeast dough are two totally different things. Sourdough starter is more of a batter than a dough, typically 50/50. Also, the rising action of the sourdough is a MUCH slower process. Furthermore, eating acidic substances has little to do with the dog's blood PH - or a human's blood PH, for that matter. The alcohol in the starter is negligible. If you could get drunk on sourdough starter, think of the drunks who would be making it. You'd have topics on here like "Train bum has been in the refrigerator for a month - smells funny - help me revive it!"

Your pups will be fine.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 08:32:45 AM by ThePieman »

Offline pizza is love

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Re: Caution! Sourdough Starter and Dogs
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 08:17:56 PM »
Actually I was shaking my head thinking the Eme. clinic ripped you off but I mentioned this to my wife who manages a vet clinic and she said "Yes  It is not a wives tale" She didn't think the alcohol was a issue but the starter could continue to grow and cause issues.

Offline dogboy

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Re: Caution! Sourdough Starter and Dogs
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 08:41:28 PM »
I train dogs for a living. Also make copious amounts of pizza. Dough ate a batch of dough I had sitting g out one day. A few hours later she was falling down drunk and with a silly smile on her face. Yes she was smiling... I wasnt. She fell off the porch a couple times. I decided to take her to the vet. Yep it reacted to her by turning to alcohol. The bloat was the first fear but she was just straight up drunk. Costly. As they had to give her two I.V's. But saved me the cleanup of her back end blowing up all over the vets office for a couple hours. Dough DOES react and turns to alcohol in dogs and it can kill them.

Offline dogboy

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Re: Caution! Sourdough Starter and Dogs
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 08:42:40 PM »
About 2.5 lbs of raw dough.


 

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