Xylitol Warning Toxic to Your Pet
A set of small brown, innocent looking eyes gazed up as I viewed the shredded mess before me.
After a quick trip to the store, I had dropped my purse on the office floor and my small four legged “child” had found his way into an unzipped pocket and devoured almost a full pack of gum.
“You’re going to have a belly ache”, I scolded as I gathered up what was left of the cardboard package and went about my business.
Over the next hour Bristol ran playfully in and out of the office trying to get my attention as he so often does. “Does your belly hurt?”, I teased him.
Maybe his tummy could indeed be hurting I thought, and quickly typed in the words, “My Dog Just Ate Gum”, into the search bar of my computer.
That’s when my own stomach sank.
And the list went on.
I quickly dialed the emergency number of the animal hospital and was told to get my little “fur baby” to their location NOW!
My husband and I jumped in the car and made the frantic trip to the animal ER over 20 minutes away. As we entered the door of the clinic, my little one was whisked away as they hurriedly asked my permission to induce vomiting.
After what seemed like forever, the vet on call came into the small room we had been ushered into and explained what was happening. We were shown photos of what gum they had been able to retrieve with the vomiting, but were told there may still be more in his stomach. It really needed to all be removed, as just two pieces of gum containing Xylitol could drop the blood sugar of a 20 pound dog dangerously low, causing a dog to go into liver failure. My estimate was my little 14 pound guy had devoured over 10 pieces.
So the next step was to pump his tiny stomach, keep him overnight where he would receive fluids, blood sugar tests throughout the stay and hope his blood sugar remained stable.
If all went well, we could pick him up the next morning and over the next few days his liver counts would be tested to see if his liver had been compromised.
Tears spilled from my eyes as we made the trip home. “How could I have been so careless?”, I cried.
“You didn’t know the danger this gum was to dogs”, my husband said trying to make me feel better.
And he was right. When I tell my story, I find many others don’t know of the danger either. The fact is Xylitol is found in many food products. As a sugar substitute it can be found in candy, mints, gum, toothpaste, vitamins, some brands of peanut butter and more. The danger to dogs is tremendous.
Thanks to the internet and wonderful doctors, my little buddy dodged a bullet and did not incur liver damage, but many others have not been so lucky.
You might just save the life of someone’s little four legged companion.
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