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

No comments: