Please share this story with any loved ones who have a dog in their home. It very well could save a furry friend’s life.
It turns out Xylitol is dangerous for dogs.
You’ve read about this amazing sugar substitute plenty of times in my posts. Not only can it help you kick your sweet tooth, but it also offers a host of health benefits.
It can help prevent cavities and is even associated with re-growth of dental enamel. In one study, breast-fed children whose mothers chewed gum containing it during their pregnancies had less cavities than children of mothers who had fluoride treatments.
And if that weren’t enough–it can also help protect you against ear and sinus infections. When used as an intranasal spray, it prevents bacteria from adhering to the cells lining the nose and sinuses.
Pretty incredible stuff, to be sure.
Sugar substitute Xylitol is dangerous for dogs!
But what’s good for you is most definitely not good for–and could even be deadly to–your dog.
As soon as I read the horrible story about Billy, a corgi (one of my favorite breeds) who was happily living in San Jose, CA until he got into a bag of groceries and ate several packs of Xylitol-sweetened gum, I knew I had to share it with you.
As soon as Billy started showing symptoms–bleeding around his eyes and in his “arm pit” area–his owner rushed him to the vet. But it was too late.
Billy was diagnosed with acute liver failure and was euthanized after five days of intensive care. By the end, multiple organs had failed, and the damage was just too much.
In this unhappy tale, one owner’s heartbreak serves as a warning to the rest of us. We all know that pets can get into…well, just about anything.
My dog once ate a whole plate of freshly-baked cinnamon buns when I walked out to get the mail. Sometimes, it’s no big deal. But other times…it’s deadly. And you’d never think a pack of gum could do it.
Xylitol can cause acute liver failure in dogs
In fact, veterinarians used to think that Xylitol only caused hypoglycemia in dogs. Recently, though, they’ve found that the risk for acute liver failure is a serious one. And reports of exposure have been steadily rising recently. Which means it’s that much more important to get the word out.
Billy ate a few packs of gum, but dogs can get sick from eating even one piece. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, collapse, and seizures.
If you observe any of those symptoms in your pet, or if you suspect your dog has ingested something containing Xylitol, get him to the vet right away. And keep products containing Xylitol where pets can’t get to them.
It’s easy to throw a purse or a grocery bag on the sofa or on the floor and get to it later, but all it takes is a few minutes for a curious dog to become the center of another tragic story like Billy’s.
Ms. O’Brien has written for Nutrition & Healing, Healthier Talk and a variety of other natural and alternative health outlets. She believes in the power of natural medicine and her goal is to open people’s eyes to the benefits of alternative and integrative medicine.
Christine is passionate about helping people help themselves without having to turn to harsh drugs or invasive surgeries.
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