Sweet as Poison

My dogs love sweet things- I try to curb that, but the fact of the matter is they do.  I have read this warning repeatedly on the internet, and felt I should share it with you all.  Even if some of you have heard the information before, maybe some haven’t. Below is a forward letter, and while I usually abhor forwarded letters of this nature, this one is worth passing on.

“Warning to all dog owners . . . pass this on to your dog-loving friends and family.
Only 3 grams of Xylitol (found in sugar free chewing gum) is enough to kill a 65 lb dog. And QUICKLY!!!!! Please pass this warning on to everyone you know who has dogs. It may just save a life.

Here is the Snopes link.

Last Friday evening, I arrived home from work, fed Chloe, our 24 Lb dachshund, just as I normally do. Ten minutes later I walked into the den just in time to see her head inside the pocket of Katie’s friend’s purse.

She had a guilty look on her face so I looked closer and saw a small package of sugar-free gum. It contained Xylitol. I remembered that I had recently read that sugar-free gum can be deadly for dogs so I jumped on line and looked to see if Xylitol was the ingredient. I found the first web site below and it was the one. Next, I called our vet. She said to bring her in immediately. Unfortunately, it was still rush hour and it took me almost 1/2 hour to get there. Meanwhile, since this was her first case, our vet found another web site to figure out the treatment.

She took Chloe and said they would induce her to vomit, give her a charcoal drink to absorb the toxin (even though they don’t think it works) then they would start an iv with dextrose. The Xylitol causes dogs to secrete insulin so their blood sugar drops very quickly. The second thing that happens is liver failure. If that happens, even with aggressive treatment, it can be difficult to save them. She told us she would call us.

Almost two hours later, the vet called and said that contents of her stomach contained 2-3 gum wrappers and that her=2 0blood sugar had dropped from 90 to 59 in 30 minutes. She wanted us to take Chloe to another hospital that has a critical care unit operating around the clock. We picked her up and took her there. They had us call the ASPCA poison control for a case number and for a donation their doctors would direct Chloe’s doctor on treatment. They would continue the iv, monitor her blood every other hour and then in 2 days test her liver function. She ended up with a central line in her jugular vein since the one in her leg collapsed, just as our
regular vet had feared.

Chloe spent almost the entire weekend in the critical care hospital. After her blood sugar was stabilized, she came home yesterday. They ran all the tests again before they released her and so far, no sign of liver damage. Had I not seen her head in the purse, she probably would have died and we wouldn’t even had known why.

Three vets told me this weekend, that they were amazed that I even knew about it since they are first learning about it too. Please tell everyone you know about Xylitol and dogs. It may save another life.”

Please be careful with people food and your pet!

2 Comments on “Sweet as Poison

  1. Oh no! I’m so glad your pups are all right!

    I don’t know why there aren’t more warnings on engineered sugars- my personal opinion is that they really aren’t good for anyone. Some of them give me killer headaches, I guess it’s just a matter of sensitivity and relative size.

  2. I’m so glad to see people spreading the word about xylitol. I had almost the same experience with my 2 Bichons. They got Trident gum from a friends purse. I had read the xylitol e-mails and immediately gave them hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. I called my vet and he had never heard of xylitol poisoning. He said as soon as they vomited to get them to his clinic. By the time we got there, no more than 30 minutes after ingesting the gum, Mattie’s blood sugar was down to 51. By watching Hidden’s (my other Bichon) blood sugar and vomit inspection (pretty gross), we determined that Hidden had not gotten any gum. Mattie spent 72 hours on a dextrose iv and, after 1 pretty sick day, got good liver function test results and got to come home. If I had not seen them with the gum, I probably would have lost my girls. Thanks to the internet e-mails, I knew what to do! My home is now a xylitol-free house. Nothing with xylitol is allowed through the door!
    My big question is why are there no warnings on the labels of these products about the hazards to pets! As a matter of fact, sometimes you have to really look to find it listed as an ingredient. Keep spreading the word, so maybe no one else has to lose their beloved pet this way!!