How chewing gum, ice cream or toothpaste can kill your dog
An American couple warns pet owners that xylitol (Xylitol), found in chewing gum and other foods found in every home, can kill animals. Their six year old dog died due to liver failure, swallowing gum.
Corey and Chris Clark say their Pointer dog died after eating chewing gum. According to the couple, a dog named Isa felt bad after that, and by the time they arrived at the vet she had developed liver failure, writes ABC13.
The ingredient in chewing gum is called xylitol, and it is fatal for dogs because it is a powerful stimulator of insulin secretion. A small amount of xylitol can cause a dangerous decrease in blood sugar, and the effect may occur within 10 – 60 minutes after taking xylitol.
This sugar substitute found in certain human and dental foods can be toxic to your dog. If your dog puts his nose in his bag and pulls out a pack of chewing gum or decides to gnaw a tube of toothpaste, the consequences can be fatal.
If your dog has taken xylitol, here are some symptoms to worry about:
- decreased activity;
- lack of coordination;
- loss of consciousness;
If you think your dog might have eaten a product containing xylitol, call your veterinarian immediately at the emergency room or poison control center.
Over the past few years, the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received several messages - many of which related to chewing gum - about dogs poisoned with xylitol. The most recent report was sugar-free diet ice cream.
Xylitol is often used to sweeten sugar-free sweets such as mint and chocolate bars, as well as chewing gum. Other products that may contain xylitol include:
- breath fresheners;
- pastries (cakes, muffins and pies, bread for diabetics);
- cough syrup;
- chewing vitamins for children and adults;
- some peanut butter;
- over-the-counter medicines;
- nutritional supplements;
- sugar-free desserts, including diet ice cream.
It is recommended that all such products be kept out of the reach of your dog.
Why is xylitol dangerous for dogs, but not for humans?
In both humans and dogs, blood sugar levels are controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. In humans, xylitol does not stimulate this reaction, but in dogs it’s different: when dogs eat something containing xylitol, the substance is absorbed faster into the bloodstream and can lead to a strong release of insulin, and after it - a rapid and deep drop in sugar levels in blood (hypoglycemia), which can be fatal.
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Note to cat and ferret owners: Xylitol is not likely to be as dangerous for cats and other pets. Cats, in addition, are almost never interested in sweets, but ferrets can react just like dogs - be careful.
What to do?
If you think your dog has eaten xylitol, take her to a veterinarian or animal emergency hospital immediately. Since in some cases hypoglycemia and other serious side effects may not occur for 12 to 24 hours, your dog may need to be hospitalized for medical observation.
Check the label for the presence of xylitol in the ingredients of products, especially those that are advertised as sugar free or low sugar. What else can be done?
If the product contains xylitol, make sure your pet cannot get it. Remember that some dogs are quite successful in finding harmful treats and other dangerous foods.
Use pet toothpaste for pets only, not human toothpaste.
If you give peanut butter to your dog as a treat or as a pill-facilitator, check the label first to make sure it does not contain xylitol.
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