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Danger of Hops to Dogs

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Nunley

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Dear Fellow Beer Enthusiasts!

Just a public service announcements of sorts for those who brew in homes with dogs. We lost our Golden retriever to accidental poisoning when he ate the packet of hops in a brew kit. Our vet was unaware that hops can be deadly and we lost too much time to be able to save him. There is lots of information on this at wikipedia under dog health.

It causes a rapid and uncontrollable fever resulting in fatal seizures. Immediate vet care can save your dog. Both raw and spent hops are lethal, especially to muscular dog varieties. Composting spent hops around dogs will expose them to risk.

I wish someone had posted such a warning so I could have saved my dog.

To your brewing success and the safety of man's best friend!
 

reim0027

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Malignant hyperthermia is bad news. I am sorry to hear about your loss.

In hind sight, once malignant hyperthermia starts (especially if it starts hard), it is very hard to reverse. Often times permanent damage has done and an unstoppable chain reaction happens. Immediate vet care may have saved your dog, but the prognosis is poor. Since there is no readily available antidote, and the unstoppable chain reaction starts early, cases like these usually end up the same way.
 

Hippie

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Nunley, I am sorry to hear about your loss, and thank you for the warning.
 

gingerdawg

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Very sorry to hear about your loss. I know how hard it is to loose your best pal. We lost the real gingerdawg (also a gloden) about a year ago from complications due to a previous bout with Lyme disease.
 

llazy_llama

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Edited: Sorry, didn't mean to be that much of a jerk, just a little bit of a jerk. I'm sorry to hear about your companion, I just assumed everyone knew by now.

Wait a second, hops can be bad for dogs?!? Next you'll tell me alcohol can be bad for livers.
 

scubajim

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wow, sorry to hear that, but thank you for the info i had no idea about hops being bad for dogs, but will be very careful now that i do.
 

Professor Frink

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Sorry to hear about your loss. This thread pops up every now and then, but it can never be too often. There are always new brewers coming onto the site and it's important that they know this.
 

Figbash

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I wonder if the beer itself is bad for them too, or just whole hops. I have two Labs who will steal your beer in a heartbeat. My spent hops go right in the garbage disposal.

Maybe this thread should be a sticky.

Tom
 

GunnerMan

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AFAIK beer itself is not poisonous. Ive heard many a story of people feeding dogs beer and how much dogs love it. Why a dog would want to eat a bitter hop is beyond me...
 

epimortum

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I am so very sorry for your loss, as others have expressed as well. All we can hope is that the passing was a comfortable is possible considering the horrors of MH. I don't know what else to say.
 
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Both raw and spent hops are lethal, especially to muscular dog varieties. Composting spent hops around dogs will expose them to risk.
So I guess this is the one positive to my dog being flabby?

But this is actually why I stopped dumping the trub after brewing on my current compost bin. It is open and in an area where he has access. I could imagine him trying to lick up the bitter-sweet wort that spills out, especially since he likes the spent grain. I figure the chances of him actually doing so, and actually dying because of it are fairly slim, but why chance it?
 

BCNbeer

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Well, there goes my plans to plant hops. There is no way I'm taking a chance on this.
Same here, my dogs would chew up hop plants whenever they break out of my back yard.
 

SumnerH

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Why a dog would want to eat a bitter hop is beyond me...
I don't understand why they'd want hops, either. But on the other hand, on a weirdness scale from 1-10, hops are about a 3 compared to the rest of the stuff my dog will shove in his face.

Sorry for your loss Nunley!
 

llazy_llama

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I don't understand why they'd want hops, either. But on the other hand, on a weirdness scale from 1-10, hops are about a 3 compared to the rest of the stuff my dog will shove in his face.

Sorry for your loss Nunley!
Exactly. If they'll eat poop, there's no telling what else they'll eat.
 

Aleforge

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I am really sorry to hear about your dog! :(

And I second "dogs will eat anything"! My dog eats his own poop, and anything else he can find. I had a dog growing up that knocked over a glass with juice in it, it shattered so it proceeded to crunch up the glass shards and swallow them. The very same dog ate one of my moms razors, it was chomping down on it with blood dripping from its mouth. :cross:

It died at 14 from brain tumors, go figure.
 

Larstram

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Thank you very much for sharing. I have been reading on this site here for a while now and was not aware of this. This warning be more prominent here. Maybe a sticky would be good.
I also have a Golden Retriever and could have easily put her at risk of this. In my last batch I through the grains in the yard.The hops I don't recall, but could have gone in the yard just as easy not knowing the danger.
Very sorry for your loss and again thank you!
 

Whisler85

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its funny, but there was a thread not that long ago and the consensus seemed to be that hops werent that big of a deal

im glad my dog stays away from the hops- he does eat the spent grain on the compost pile, but i use pellets and wash them and the other trub down the drain

its funny, my dog loves to eat pens- none are safe around him-other than that, he never eats poop, random plants outside, or anything else weird
 

reim0027

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its funny, but there was a thread not that long ago and the consensus seemed to be that hops werent that big of a deal

im glad my dog stays away from the hops- he does eat the spent grain on the compost pile, but i use pellets and wash them and the other trub down the drain

its funny, my dog loves to eat pens- none are safe around him-other than that, he never eats poop, random plants outside, or anything else weird
Malignant hyperthermia is a genetic problem (which hops can trigger). If a dog doesn't have the genes for it, then the hops shouldn't trigger it (as I understand things). It is along the same lines as peanut allergies. Most people can eat them fine. But, those who are severely allergic to them can die.

On top of this, MH causes severe muscle tremors, which increases body temperature (like when we shiver). Heavily muscled dogs (such as greyhounds) are at more risk for severe damage. More muscle - more heat generated my the tremors.

Ironically, the ASPCA Pet Poison Control website lists them as nontoxic. However, the clinical signs in dogs are "panting, high body temperature, seizures, death". Here's the url Hops

Even stranger, the APSCA classifies hops as poisonous plants here: http://www2.aspca.org/site/DocServer/poisonousplantsdogscats.pdf?docID=109&AddInterest=1101

Bottom line - don't feed your dog hops. It isn't worth the risk.
 

gingerdawg

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Does anyone know if it is just the hop cones that are bad for dogs? Or are the plant leaves and bines toxic too? i have plans to grow hops, but i am worried about our high energy Golden pup. He's a blonde, and not too smart.....
 

reim0027

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That is a very good question. AFAIK (which is not a lot), we don't fully understand what sets off the MH reaction. Or, at least, nothing has been proven to be the culprit (in the reliable literature I have read).
 

david_42

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Malignant hypothermia can also be triggered by barbiturate anesthetics, but the underlying genetic mutation is rare in dogs, even in greyhounds. Only a biopsy will tell you if the problem was MH.
 

skinnyman

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I am VERY sorry to hear that!! I must say thank you for posting this!!!!!!!!!! We have a dog as well and did not know this info. Thank you again!
 

cheeseshark

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I know there are a lot of threads about this, but when I first started homebrewing (even after I started on this site), I was not aware of the the severe danger hops posed to dogs until I ran across a thread a month or so later. How about a sticky in the beginner's section titled, "Hops can kill your dog," or some other title similarly ominous in title? I, for one, think it would be worth it.
 

Figbash

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Well, there goes my plans to plant hops. There is no way I'm taking a chance on this.
I've been growing hops for several years and the lowest I've ever seen cones is five or six feet, most of them are higher than ten feet off the ground. Your dog would need to be part cat to reach them.

Tom
 

epimortum

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... How about a sticky in the beginner's section titled, "Hops can kill your dog," or some other title similarly ominous in title? I, for one, think it would be worth it.
How about !!!!!! HOPS CANUS FAMILIARIS MORTI SUNT !!!!!!!

It would at least garner attention, thus a peak.
 

Tsuyako

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I'm so glad someone posted this! I have yet to get my first batch going and knowing me I would have fed our rhotti directly just to get a kick out it. I will most deffinitly keep him away from them.
 
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Just a public service announcements of sorts for those who brew in homes with dogs. We lost our Golden retriever to accidental poisoning when he ate the packet of hops in a brew kit. Our vet was unaware that hops can be deadly and we lost too much time to be able to save him. There is lots of information on this at wikipedia under dog health.
I'm starting to think this is a fake story after reading the urban legend post about the guy in Milwaukee ...

I cannot see any way a dog would eat a packet of hops. I've tasted a hop pellet, and it is not pleasant. I could see the leftover wort, but not an unsweetened pack of pellets.
 

Beezer94

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They'll eat onions, chocolate, & drink antifreeze, which can all kill them, so yes they will eat hops.
 

Beerrific

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I'm starting to think this is a fake story after reading the urban legend post about the guy in Milwaukee ...

I cannot see any way a dog would eat a packet of hops. I've tasted a hop pellet, and it is not pleasant. I could see the leftover wort, but not an unsweetened pack of pellets.
Here is another report. Dogs eat all sorts of crazy stuff. One of my dogs eats dirt and rocks, they also seem to have a taste for cat $hit. So, eating a pack of hops would not surprise me.
 

thataintchicken

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they also seem to have a taste for cat $hit. So, eating a pack of hops would not surprise me.
ok.
SWMBO's Doberman and my Cats have been together for nearly Two years.
The dog never even paid attention to the litterbox, until last week.

now, she goes right after the Cat sh*t if they have had the Fancy Feast canned stuff for supper.

freaky dog. Doesn't like hops though. Which is good I suppose.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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ok.
SWMBO's Doberman and my Cats have been together for nearly Two years.
The dog never even paid attention to the litterbox, until last week.

now, she goes right after the Cat sh*t if they have had the Fancy Feast canned stuff for supper.

freaky dog. Doesn't like hops though. Which is good I suppose.
Hey, thataintchicken, did you tell her thataintchicken? :p
 

lordbeermestrength

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ok.
SWMBO's Doberman and my Cats have been together for nearly Two years.
The dog never even paid attention to the litterbox, until last week.

now, she goes right after the Cat sh*t if they have had the Fancy Feast canned stuff for supper.

freaky dog. Doesn't like hops though. Which is good I suppose.

We call the cat s#it after it's rolled in litter "almond roca." Luckily our new dog hasn't discovered this treat yet.
 

conpewter

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Deathweed, I really like how well that explains the situation, I think that would make a good Sticky.

I grow hops and I am not concerned that my (future..) dogs will eat the plants. I will not be throwing sweet wort soaked hops on the compost pile though as I can see how that would be enticing.
 

conpewter

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I found this interesting on the other site

By brrman
My wife is an emergency vet and she sees malignant hypothermia more than a few times a year from various foods. It all depends on the size of the dog and the amount of hops ingested. Don't wait if you know your dog has ingested hops - MH can cause brain damage and renal failure in small dogs before symptoms get extremely pronounced.

Also poisonous to dogs are grapes and raisins, onions (Hemolytic Anemia), chocolate, coffee and certain types of mushrooms. Though they are all different in their levels and types of toxicity. Raisins are very bad - my wife lost a patient (terrier) who ate 4 small school lunch-sized boxes of raisins. The owner waited 2 days after the dog started panting before she brought the dog to the hospital. The dog died about an hour after arriving...
 

Dr_Deathweed

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Deathweed, I really like how well that explains the situation, I think that would make a good Sticky.

I grow hops and I am not concerned that my (future..) dogs will eat the plants. I will not be throwing sweet wort soaked hops on the compost pile though as I can see how that would be enticing.

Thanks :mug: I tried to keep it as "understandable" as possible.
 

CBBaron

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Well, there goes my plans to plant hops. There is no way I'm taking a chance on this.
The chance of you growing hops plants being injurous to your dogs is extremely small. First hop cones form quite high up on the plant making it difficult for a dog to even reach the flowers. Second there is no reason for them to be interested in the flowers. The plants will have been growing for several months at that point and the cones are a small green part of the plant that is bitter when bitten. Third it takes many hop cones to equal one ounce of dried hops. A packet of dries hops is very easy for a dog to snarf up. Hop cones on the plant will require a much more determined effort to chew off each cone separately.

I grow hops on my parents farm. There are 3 dogs that live with them and several more that visit regularly. None has ever shown the slightest interest in the plants even while tending them or during harvest.

Craig
 

dontman

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Deathweed, I really like how well that explains the situation, I think that would make a good Sticky.

I grow hops and I am not concerned that my (future..) dogs will eat the plants. I will not be throwing sweet wort soaked hops on the compost pile though as I can see how that would be enticing.
There is no evidence whatsoever that spent hops in your spent grain is dangerous.

There should be much higher amounts of hop oils in your beer than your compost and there is no recorded case of hops poisoning from a dog drinking beer.

So Nunley, if his story is believed (consider the source - a first time poster), would be the sixth recorded case of hops causing MH in recorded vet history. Not worthy of a "Your Dog Will Die" thread. Certainly not worthy of a Sticky thread.

I don't know if people realize just how unusual "extremely rare" means when used in a medical journal but to put it into perspective, the FDA approves drugs for the general population that have a higher incidence of deadly side effects than hops does for dogs.

If there was some therapeutic reason to feed hops to dogs you would be able to market hops in a pet store directly for dogs and there would not even have to be a warning label on the package.

And really, who is leaving their beer ingredients where their dog can eat them? Personally, I leave no food item that I want to consume within range of my dog to make the decision for himself if he wants to try it. I have too much respect for my food ingredients and too little respect for my dog's judgement. Pretty much the only food my dog can reach is DOG food.
 
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