'Coco': Animal rescue center successfully treats dog for alcohol addiction

The animal came into the center with a companion that sadly did not survive the ordeal.
Loukia Papadopoulos
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An animal rescue center in Plymouth, western England, has had to treat a Labrador mix for alcoholism after the animal was taken in following the death of his owner.

Woodside Animal Welfare Trust shared the news on Wednesday on Facebook and revealed that the animal’s name was Coco and that he was a two-year-old male. He came in with another canine and they were both treated by an emergency vet after having fits.

"After arriving with his canine pal following the death of his owner, he and his companion became quickly unwell. Coco's friend was repeatedly fitting, and soon after, Coco also started to fit," said Woodside Animal Welfare Trust.

The other dog sadly did not survive the ordeal.

Emergency care

“A vet was on site at the time and was able to administer emergency care but sadly Coco's friend passed away despite our best efforts. Coco continued to be seriously unwell and required round the clock care,” wrote the shelter.

“It became clear that he was suffering from  symptoms that all pointed to alcohol withdrawal.  He spent four weeks sedated to help with his withdrawal symptoms and to reduce the risk of further fits.”

After a while the dog was able to get off of the medication and even started to behave like a normal dog. The shelter specified that he is not yet ready for adoption as mentally he is still very anxious at times and still needs professional care.  

The shelter noted that the cause of the alcohol poisoning remained unknown.

“No-one knows the specifics on how these dogs got into the situation with alcohol but we do know that without our care Coco would likely have not survived this heart breaking ordeal,” wrote the shelter.

Alcohol toxicity is not common in dogs as they are not innately drawn to alcoholic beverages. However, accidents can happen. 

If a dog does accidentally consume alcohol, it’s hard to know whether the amount consumed is at dangerous levels. In such cases, it is best to contact a vet immediately.

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