Deadly to Dogs
Sugar free gum, candy, etc.
This is a danger I was unaware of
until Friday( May 2006). Xylitol is a sugar
substitute that is being used now in some sugarless gums and
candies as well as other products. I found a reference to a
toothpaste with xylitol, for example. Xylitol
is very toxic to dogs.
If I'd known this, I never would have been casual about leaving a
pack of gum lying around the house, any more than I would be
casual leaving a bottle of poison within their reach.
Please help spread the
knowledge of this danger so no dogs have to go through what mine
are even as I type this.
My Keeshonden have been in the emergency vet hospital since Friday
evening after getting into a nearly full pack of Trident sugarless
gum. Worrying about whether that much gum would cause an
intestinal obstruction, I got on-line to check. To my surprise and
horror, I found several articles about Xylitol poisoning in dogs.
This substance is not digested by humans but is by dogs. It causes
insulin production and a resulting drop in the dog's blood sugar.
Hypoglycemia is the
result, with possible seizures, coma and permanent liver damage.
Deaths have been reported as well.
A quick check showed Xylitol was in the gum my fur boys ate. Off
we went to the emergency vets. Animal poison control was called
and their protocols are being followed to try and prevent liver
damage in my dogs. In less than an hour, my boys' blood sugars
were already dropping. Normal is in the 80 range. My boys were
down to 71 and 59 already.
Because I happened to do this check on the gum, having no idea the
gum itself was toxic, it looks like I did get my dogs to the vet
in time. They have been on a
dextrose drip since animal poison control was consulted. The
dextrose has done its job, and my dogs have had none of the
complications that go with Xylitol poisoning. We won't be out of
the woods, however, until the drip is removed some time later
today (Sunday). When this happens, we will see how their bodies
respond. Hopefully their blood sugar levels will stabilize and we
can put this nightmare behind us.
Please cross post to your dog lists
and forums. Inform your friends, neighbors, dog training groups,
etc. We need to spread the word about this danger so that as
many dog owners as possible become aware of the presence of
Xylitol in the items we bring into our homes, and the danger it
poses to our dogs.