With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, as well as the increased trend in home brewing, you may find that if your pets consume any of the libations that that festive holiday is renowned for, they could potentially need more than just the “luck of the Irish.”

Hops, which naturally are used in the production of beer, are now among the top 8 most toxic plants to pets, especially dogs. The primary clinical symptom of hops intoxication is a rapid increase in body temperature, known as malignant hyperthermia. Panting, brightly colored red gums, an increased heart rate and agitation are all notable signs of this condition. Greyhounds and Golden Retrievers seem to be particularly susceptible to malignant hyperthermia, although it can affect any breed.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested hops, or is showing any of these classic symptoms, immediate medical intervention is definitely warranted, as aggressive treatment may be needed for detoxification. Delayed action could result in irreversible organ damage and even death due to the effects of the malignant hyperthermia.

So, for this upcoming March 17th holiday, if you “have a great lip for the stout,” as the Irish say, just make sure that your pet sticks with a fresh bowl of water to stay hydrated…and no, this doesn’t mean that they automatically become your designated driver 😉


 – Twilight