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Old 05-06-2013, 05:22 PM   #111
libeerty's Avatar
Jul 2012
Posts: 494
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Originally Posted by dog_gone View Post
So, I'm the latest brewer to be too lax with regards to spent hops and my beloved pooch. She's a 65# Basset; she stinks to high heaven, is a born whiner, and possesses the most naturally pitiful "poor me" expression one could imagine, but I do love her dearly.

And she loves beer. Heck, sometimes I think she rivals me when it comes to the love of beer. She's no snob, though; she'll gladly quaff a BMC when the good stuff isn't readily available (i.e. when I turn my back long enough and forget that I have a beer remotely in reach of her height-challenged frame).

She even learned that if she pushed the picnic table in just the right spot, she would find herself amidst a cascading treasure trove of liquid gold. Fortunately, I eventually caught on to her antics. She may look pitiful and dumb, but she certainly had me fooled for quite some time. In all fairness, however, I'm probably not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Anyhow, given her love of beer, and knowing that it hasn't caused any overt problems to this point, I didn't think much about pouring the two cups of wort and trub on the pile of yard debris. Most of the spent hop pellets stayed in the sock, so there really wasn't much trub.

A couple of hours later, I noticed her panting and whimpering a little. But, she always whines and it was a warm, so, again, I didn't think too much about it. Then I noticed an unusual amount of restlessness. Her preferred state of existence is that of sleeping and she couldn't stay still long enough to nap. That's when it finally hit me that something could be wrong. Her body temp was elevated, but nothing crazy.

A quick search brought up information related to hops and potential toxicity. I attempted to induce vomiting, but there wasn't much for her to expel. I then put her in the tub with cold water and added some ice. That seemed to help a little. After the cooling bath, I had a fan on her for a few hours. That also seemed to help.

She was a bit restless through the night, but she was also able to get some sleep. This morning, she seemed much better: No panting and only a slightly elevated body temp. While the literature suggests the danger can exist for 36 hours, I felt she was doing well enough to leave her at home with a lot of water and a fan on if she needed.

Yes, I know this is only anecdotal information and conjecture on my part, but the unusual behavior of my dog and the symptoms exhibited by her are enough for me to speculate that hops may have had an negative impact on my pooch.

If my speculation is correct, I'm very *fortunate* that there was only a minimal amount of spent hop trub in the wort that I so thoughtlessly discarded. If I am incorrect, well, then, at the very least I will be far more aware of how I dispose of such debris in the future.

Fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed here, too, man!
Tried to keep up with this signature, but just couldn't.

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Old 09-25-2013, 03:19 PM   #112
Dec 2012
St Petersburg, Fl
Posts: 122
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I am a Veterinary Technician (Nurse) and was doing some continuing education online. I came across this article. It's geared more towards those in Veterinary Medicine but it was still something I never knew, and felt the need to share with everyone here. Here is the article cut and pasted and the link is above if anyone wants to share or look at the rest of the website.

You get a call at your clinic from owners who are frantic about their dog, which is panting excessively and has bright red gums. Earlier in the evening, the dog ingested spent hops that had been tossed on the soil of a potted houseplant. However, the owners do not think their dogís clinical signs are due to the ingestion because their other dog also ingested the hops but is asymptomatic.

Humulus lupulus, a member of the Cannabinaceae family, has male and female plants. The female plant produces seedless flowers (cones) known as hops, which are used in brewing beer to provide bitter flavors and aromas.1 Hops are also sometimes used as a calming agent in herbal supplements.2 Some dog treats contain small amounts of hops extract to help alleviate anxiety; however, in larger quantities, hops can be fatal to dogs. The median lethal dose of hops in dogs is unknown. This article provides an overview of hops toxicosis and its treatment in dogs.

Hops intoxication in dogs is rare but can be devastating for unsuspecting dog owners who home brew beer. Spent hops make a great fertilizer because of their nitrogen content and tendency to warm rapidly when wet.3 For these reasons, hops are often tossed into compost piles or gardens, to which curious dogs may have access.

When used in home brewing, hops come in several different forms: whole flowers, pellets, and plugs of whole flower.1 These chemically diverse mixtures contain essential oils (which produce aromas) and α- and β-hydroxyacids (which are bittering agents).1 The many varieties of hops have differing ratios of these components, contributing to the complexity of hops and the difficulty in determining the mechanism of action for toxicity in dogs. Fresh cones and pellets and even spent hops are considered toxic to dogs.4

Clinical Signs of Toxicosis

The primary clinical sign of hops intoxication is a malignant hyperthermia-like reaction resulting in a rapid increase in body temperature.4 Certain canine breeds are more prone to developing malignant hyperthermia because they have a genetic mutation that allows an increase in the calcium level in muscle cells. This results in increased muscle contractions and changes in metabolism.5 Malignant hyperthermia can be triggered by stress, certain anesthetic gases, and exercise.5 Initially, it seemed that greyhounds were more prone to developing the malignant hyperthermia-like reaction seen with hops ingestion.6 However, as more cases of hops ingestion were reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, it became apparent that many other canine breeds are susceptible.

The onset of clinical signs varies from 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion. Most commonly, owners notice their pet panting heavily, which is sometimes preceded by vomiting. Clinical signs may include panting, agitation, vomiting, injected mucous membranes, and death.4,7 Physical examination findings may include tachycardia and elevated body temperature.


Because the median lethal dose of hops in dogs is unknown, ingestion of brewing hops should be considered life-threatening. Asymptomatic dogs should be decontaminated by induction of emesis and administration of activated charcoal. The patient should be monitored for 8 to 12 hours while receiving intravenous fluids.4 Hydrogen peroxide (3%; 2 mL/kg up to 45 mL) or apomorphine (0.04 mg/kg IV) may be administered to induce emesis within 1 hour of exposure if the patient is asymptomatic.6 If more than 1 hour has passed since ingestion or if emesis does not recover all of the hops, gastric or enterogastric lavage may be considered.4,6 The effectiveness of gastric lavage may be limited if the form of hops ingested is too large to pass through the tube. If gastric lavage is used, it should be performed within 2 hours of exposure.4,8 Activated charcoal (1 to 2 g/kg PO) can be given with a cathartic for further decontamination.6 Intravenous fluids should be administered to reduce body temperature and increase urine output.6 Fans, cool baths, and external ice packs may also help to reduce body temperature.4 Diazepam (0.5 to 1 mg/kg IV) may be given to treat agitation.4

No specific antidote is available for hops intoxication. Dantrolene is a skeletal muscle relaxant that can be used to treat malignant hyperthermia.4,7 Once body temperature becomes elevated, dantrolene can be administered at an initial dose of 2 to 3 mg/kg IV or 3.5 mg/kg PO. Thereafter, the drug can be given at 100 mg q12h PO for 3 days.4,6 Dantrolene is not typically available at veterinary clinics, so it may need to be acquired from a local human hospital. If dantrolene is not available, cyproheptadine may be administered at 1.1 mg/kg PO q6h as needed. There is some evidence that malignant-like hyperthermia is a result of serotonin effects.4,9 The use of cyproheptadine has had successful results in some cases of hyperthermia triggered by hops.4

Laboratory Diagnostics

The patientís acid-base status should be monitored, as the lactic acid and carbon dioxide levels may become elevated due to increases in anaerobic and aerobic metabolism within the muscle cells.4,5 Metabolic acidosis occurs when too much lactic acid has been produced in the body; it can be treated by administering sodium bicarbonate (1 to 2 mEq/kg IV).6 Respiratory acidosis occurs when the lungs cannot remove carbon dioxide fast enough; it can be managed using ventilator support.5 Muscle tissue may begin to break down in a process known as rhabdomyolysis.5 A complete blood count and a chemistry panel (including the creatine kinase level) should be obtained for a baseline.4,7 The creatine kinase level (normal: 50 to 554 U/L)10 may become markedly elevated. A tenfold increase above the high end of normal indicates rhabdomyolysis.11 Urinalysis is also recommended.4,7 The urine is often brown due to myoglobinuria. If rhabdomyolysis occurs, renal values should be monitored.4 The patient should be given intravenous fluids to prevent kidney failure due to myoglobin release from muscle cells. In patients with prolonged hyperthermia, a platelet count, a blood smear, and coagulation testing should be considered.4,12 With severe hyperthermia, disseminated intravascular coagulation may occur; in this condition, blood clots develop throughout the body, depleting platelets and clotting factors and possibly resulting in abnormal bleeding.12


Hops toxicosis can be lethal even if dantrolene is administered. Death may occur due to organ damage from elevated body temperature and associated metabolic changes.4 In cases resulting in death, death usually occurs within 3 to 12 hours after the onset of clinical signs.4 When treatment is successful, clinical signs can take 24 to 72 hours to resolve.4


The author thanks Safdar A. Khan, DVM, MS, PhD, DABVT; Tina Wismer, DVM, DABVT, DABT; and Marsha Hays, CVT, who are affiliated with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Illinois, for their contributions to and review of this article.

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Old 09-26-2013, 11:52 PM   #113
Jun 2013
Houston, Texas
Posts: 131
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When it comes to mans best friend, I think a friendly reminder is worth repeating.
Thanks for the info.

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Old 09-26-2013, 11:59 PM   #114
Registered User
Feb 2013
Milton, Florida
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Originally Posted by stevem86 View Post
When it comes to mans best friend, I think a friendly reminder is worth repeating.
Thanks for the info.
Goes without saying.

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Old 06-27-2014, 01:12 PM   #115
Feb 2012
Ft. Hood, TX
Posts: 11

Can anyone provide a link to the full text of the 1997 article? I'm an anesthesiologist, and MH is more or less the bogeyman in my field.

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Old 08-18-2014, 02:51 AM   #116
Aug 2014
Posts: 1

I almost lost my dog 3yrs ago to hop ingestion. I was brewing up an IPA and BBQ a brisket. When weighing out my hops in the kitchen I dropped a couple of hop cones on the floor. Didn't think anything about it since I had no idea hops could be deadly so I figured I would clean up later. Had the brisket on the counter in the same area as where the hops had fallen and I know meat was falling on the floor and my dog of course was gobbling it up. So to you people that say dogs wouldn't eat hops because they are nasty I am giving you a story of how it could happen. I know he wouldn't eat them by themselves(I have held some in my hand and he has no interest in them). But in this case he was thinking everything on the floor was delicious brisket. Just be careful with your hops it might save you heartache and in my case $4000. By the way he is an Aussie. Even if there is only a 1 in a million chance your dog could die why chance it.

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Old 01-23-2016, 11:42 PM   #117
BadgerBrigade's Avatar
Dec 2011
Monterey, Ca
Posts: 952
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Originally Posted by BudvarScott View Post
So to you people that say dogs wouldn't eat hops because they are nasty I am giving you a story of how it could happen.
WOW... ARE PEOPLE REALLY THIS IGNORANT Scott?! Sad.... You are totally right!
Hop are super deadly to dog and dogs DO go after them! I HAVE SEEN IT!
A message to the idiots who want to gamble with their dogs lives or want to say dogs wont eat it: Eat a bag of D**KS guys!
Had a friend who's dog was super picky... guess what: DEAD... why... hops!!!
Carboy1: Hopped Cider
Carboy2: Apricot (Dry)
Carboy3: Strawberry (Dry)
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:42 AM   #118
Oct 2006
Indianapolis, IN, Indiana
Posts: 1,694
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Every dog is different, just like people. Some will turn up their nose to hops - my Irish Setter runs away from them - some will gobble them up. My Golden Retriever will eat em if given the chance.

Be safe and keep them away from your pups. Hops will kill your dog. Its that simple. I use a hop spider, and always flush mine down the toilet. Never toss em out in the backyard with your spent grain....
8-Paws Brewing Co.
Tap 1:.Bombastic IIPA (10g)
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:12 AM   #119
Feb 2014
, Boston, MA
Posts: 90
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

Thank you for this post! I had no idea and I've never attempted to give my dog hops, or the opportunity to get at the spent wort, but I'll make sure he never has a chance in the future. Thanks again!

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