Monday, January 2, 2017

Xylitol Dangers

Every sweet has its sour

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Humans are always making resolutions. It's a new year, time to make promises, resolutions they call them. Maybe humans just have toooo many choices. Us dogs, not so much. We don't decide to get up in the morning, or eat, or play, or run.... it just happens. What else is there to worry about? Humans decide what we eat, when we exercise.....

Humans are always making promises to exercise more, spend less, eat less, eat healthier........ they just have way toooo many choices!

Another common trait of humans is instead of settling for what they have they change everything to make it better and faster. Sometimes this works well, other times not so much. Have you heard about the telephones that burst into flames while they're talking on them?

So instead of just skipping sweets, or maybe eating less of them, humans decided to create a substitute for sugar. In theory what a phenomenal idea, eat to your hearts content without all of the added calories. One such product on the market is called Xylitol. This sugar substitute is used in many products such as sugar-free gum, peanut butter, nicotine gum, toothpaste, and chewable vitamins (see the unbelievable list at the end of this page). You can buy bags of the substitute at the grocery store and use it to bake muffins, cakes and cookies without the guilt of sugar!

But did you know that this product is toxic to your dog? Xylitol causes an overproduction of insulin (tricks the body into thinking it is sugar) and your dog's blood sugar levels drop extremely low (hypoglysemia). The first sign is vomiting, usually within 30-60 minutes of xylitol ingestion but can be seen as far out as 12 hours. Poisoning progresses rapidly from ataxia, lethargy, collapse, seizure and death without medical intervention. Acute liver failure is also a very real outcome for your dog.

Dogs that are suspected of ingesting Xylitol should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Because symptoms develop rapidly,  immediate detoxification, I.V. sugar supplementation, monitoring of blood glucose and potassium levels, liver protectants and supportive care should be provided to the patient quickly.

We have compiled a list of common places to find Xylitol, great care should be taken not to allow pets to have contact with any of these items:

nasal sprays
fiber supplements

Dental Products:
chewing gum
breath fresheners
dental floss
mouth sprays
mouth wash

drink powders
peanut butter
instant coffee
barbecue sauces
pancake syrup

Personal Care items:
baby wipes
baby diapers
nose and face wipes 
lip balm
makeup remover

Pass this information to anyone you know that has a dog and uses sugar substitutes such as Xylitol. It could save their pet's life.

Ta ta for now

Monday, September 26, 2016

We Need Each Other, Please Stop!

"Much smoking kills live men and cures dead swine."
George Dennison Prentice

Humans never seem to be satisfied. They like variety, seek out thrills.... always want something bigger and better. Good is bad, bad is good. Simple moments ignored.... the smell of the neighbors barbecue, chasing the same ball for hours, eating the same food night after night, peeing on the same tree day after day, now this is good stuff. Us dogs, we like repetition. We are satisfied by a "good boy", long walks, chasing squirrels.......

Many humans like to bring fire to their face.... what the heck!? The smoke rolls in and out without a cough, while we (your dog and cat) are over here with red eyes, coughing and sneezing..... is the place burning down?

Well believe it or not your harming us as much as yourselves. Secondhand smoke can cause cancer in your pets but that isn't the only risk!! Many people are now trying the electric cigarettes, nicotine patches and gum. All of these products are concentrated nicotine, a little goes a long way, right to the emergency clinic. Even the butts your squishing out on the driveway, poison dude, poison.

Let's look at the facts:

1. We don't live very long compared to a humans life expectancy. Hard to swallow I know and we cherish every moment we have with you! The average life expectancy of a dog is 10-12 years, the cat is a little longer, 12-19 years. Secondhand smoke can cause lung and nasal cancer in dogs, and repeated exposure of smoke to a cat doubles their chance of developing Lymphoma, as well as asthma and bronchitis.

2. Quit smoking. Did you know on the average a person who smokes a pack a day spends approximately $1000 a year on cigarettes? But let us also talk about your veterinary bill. Quit now and you will save money on your vet bill (or at least smoke outside).

3. E-cigarettes can be fatal to your pet! It takes only 5 milligrams of nicotine to cause problems for your pet. A regular cigarette has approximately 15-20 milligrams of nicotine, e-cigarette refill cartridges can have anywhere from 6 to 24 milligrams, then take into account that a package can have five to one hundred cartridges. According to the Pet Poison Hotline, the number of calls about nicotine poisoning from these new products has doubled. One cartridge could cause toxic signs in a 50 pound dog, but in a ten pound dog it could be fatal. Yikes!! And their flavoring them!!! Banana Cream Pie anyone???!!!

4. Nicotine poisoning happens rapidly in pets, typically within 15-60 minutes after ingestion.

5. Signs in dogs and cats: vomiting, diarrhea, irritation, increased heart and breathing rates, depression, tremors, seizures, coma, and cardiac arrest.

6. React quickly, because of the rapid onset every moment counts. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect nicotine poisoning.

I've heard how hard it is to stop sucking in all that smoke (my human mom was hooked and quit "cold turkey" when she fell in love with my dad). If you really love your pets you should think twice about lighting, vaping, whatever you want to call it. Quit today, we want you around as much as you want us around. If you can't do it (we know you can), then please take it outside (and don't drop that butt, it's lethal).
Tata for now

for more information check out these links:
Secondhand smoke harmful to pets as people:
E-Cigarettes and Pets Do Not Mix: