Dear NTCA Members & Friends,
Susan Miller Hall (NTCA Health Committee Chair) told me about a recent incident concerning a puppy buyer whose Norwich found some chewing gum and ate a few pieces. The owner was not aware of the dangers of Xylitol. Fortunately, she called Susan … this story has a happy ending because the gum was not sweetened with Xylitol. The outcome otherwise might have been grave.
This incident brought back memories of “Beetle” — his tragic story was published in The News 10 years ago (Spring 2010, pages 20-21). I never forgot his picture, and I hope you won’t either. Xylitol is in many products, even some peanut butters!
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener, most commonly found in sugarless chewing gum. It is also used to sweeten other food items, such as baked goods, and found in some toothpaste, mouthwashes, certain cough medicines, mints and supplements. While very safe for people, Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs Even a small amount of gum (a few sticks / pieces of gum) can cause clinical signs. The main concern with xylitol ingestion is that it can cause a dog’s blood sugar to drop rapidly, which can potentially result in seizures. Another consequence of xylitol ingestion is liver damage that can result in liver failure. If your dog is found to accidentally ingest xylitol-containing gum or other products.
If your dog ingests xylitol, call your veterinarian immediately or the Pet Poison Control Helpline (800-213-6680) or ASPCA (888-426-4435). Your vet may or may not have you induce vomiting, depending on the amount ingested and the time frame. Don’t induce vomiting without talking to your vet or poison control. In almost all cases, the dog should be evaluated at the hospital and have blood samples collected.