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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My 13 year old 60 pound yellow lab got into the garbage and

Customer Question

My 13 year old 60 pound yellow lab got into the garbage and ate coffee grounds from yesterday's coffee. About enough grounds to make 23 cups give or take. It's been about 4 hours I just got home, he's acting drunk and can't walk all that good. His pupils are dialated. I had him walk around outside and he did that ok. He's resting on his bed now kinda sleeping. Can it kill him? I don't want to go to the vet what would they do?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Not 23 cups only 12 cups.
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 7 months ago.
Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that you're having a stressful night with your Lab. I will do my best to help. I'm very concerned about your description of what is happening with your dog. Walking drunk and dilated pupils can definitely be due to toxic effects of caffeine. Depending on the caffeine content and how much of the grounds he ate, this could potentially be life threatening, yes. Typically dogs who ingest a significant amount of coffee grounds will vomit them up on their own. If they don't, and it's been less than an hour or so since they ate them, many vets would consider inducing emesis (vomiting) to empty the stomach of any remaining coffee grounds. Caffeine toxicity can cause signs of hyperactivity, pacing, panting, high heart rate (sometimes dangerously so), vomiting and diarrhea, muscle fasciculations (shaking), dangerous cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, and in severe cases death. If you are seeing any of these signs at all, I would strongly recommend that you seek emergency care for him. A veterinarian would likely put him on IV fluids to help "flush" the caffeine out of his system and also provide symptomatic treatment for any signs that he had. For instance, if he's got muscle fasciculations they may use muscle relaxants to aid in prevention of secondary complications like muscle damage and hyperthermia caused by the muscle shaking. They may also need to administer heart medications to control arrythmias if they develop or anti-seizure medications if seizures develop. Activated charcoal can also be given to aid in the binding and elimination of the caffeine from his system.I know that you do not want to take him to the vet, but if he is showing any of the signs that I mentioned, you could be looking at a very serious issue.Please let me know what questions I can handle for you.~Dr. Sara ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)