Sweetener May Be Dangerous To Dogs

Dogs, Health, Safety Add comments
Posted by Tim Miller at 10:14 am

Dog chewingIn October of last year, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) posted a press release warning that Sugar Substitutes May Be Dangerous To Dogs saying “If you think it’s no big deal that your dog just ate some sugar-free gum or a cookie or two, think again. You may want to make an immediate trip to your veterinarian“.

The sweetener is xylitol which is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that’s found in many fruits and vegetables like berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms. It has about the same sweeness as sucros, but with only 2/3’s the food energy which is what makes it a low-calorie alternative to sugar. The sweetener can be found in a variety of sugar-free products like chewing gum, toothpaste, candy and baked goods.

Unfortunately, the sugar substitute lowers the blood sugar in dogs which can result in “loss of coordination, depression, collapse and seizures as soon as 30 minutes after ingestion“.

This morning, the Windsor Star reported on a local woman’s lab who nearly died after eating 2 packs of sugar-free gum that were left lying around.

Charlie, the Loop family’s one-year-old Lab, ate two packs of Ice Breakers Ice Cube gum last week that were left in a shopping bag on the couch, Loop said. She figures the dog found the gum when he headed to the couch for a nap.

Loop didn’t know what was wrong when the Lab collapsed Wednesday and began jerking a bit. She said the Lab threw up twice, which may have helped save him. Loop said when she raced the dog to the vet, he was barely breathing.

Lucky the lab was ok, but had to stay over night at the vet because of concerns about the dogs liver. According to the AVMA, there is “further clinical evidence of an association between the product and possible liver failure in dogs.

So just like with chocolates, you should be sure to keep sugar-free snacks and other products, especially those containing xylitol, out of dog’s reach.

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