Artificial Sweeteners and Pets
This is not something that I have heard of previously. I’ve confirmed the information via the American Veterinary Medical Association: http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/sep04/040901c.asp
Xylitol warning: Sugar free gum, candy, etc.
This is a danger I was unaware of until Friday. 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.
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.