SUGAR-FREE TREATS CAN BE DEADLY FOR PETS - KLFY News 10

SUGAR-FREE TREATS CAN BE DEADLY FOR PETS

Posted: Updated:

Sugar-Free Gum and Snacks Can be Deadly for Pets

by Kirsten Taylor (Subscribe to Kirsten Taylor's posts)
Sep 8th 2009 11:00AM

Categories: Pet Health

Print Email More

Soap bubbles: Good. Bubblegum: Bad! Photo: Tim PopUp/Flickr

Most pet owners know that chocolate is a big no-no for dogs. But here's something to chew on: a common ingredient in sugarless gum and snacks can cause a canine catastrophe.

The culprit is a sweetener called xylitol. While you may never have heard of it, there's a good chance you have it in your house. Xylitol is common in sugarless gum and in sugar-free snacks, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Cases of xylitol poisoning in dogs have increased in recent years as the sweetener has been added to lots of new foods, Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, vice president of the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center, told Paw Nation. "There definitely has been an increase in the exposures of dogs to xylitol over the last several years, simply because there's more xylitol out there."

The chemical is completely safe for humans and most other animals, but in dogs, xylitol causes blood sugar levels to plummet. When blood sugar drops, Gwaltney-Brant says, "the brain isn't getting enough energy to do its job." After swallowing xylitol, dogs may vomit and become lethargic and disoriented. "If blood sugar drops low enough, they can have seizures," Gwaltney-Brant says. Without treatment, dogs can die.

That's not all. Dogs that eat a lot of xylitol can also suffer from liver damage. Researchers aren't sure what causes the liver problems, Gwaltney-Brant says, but the results can be grave.

A little xylitol goes a long way. Just two sticks of sugarless gum can be fatal for a 20-pound dog, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune, and a single sugar-free pudding cup can spell trouble for a 90-pound pooch. But those numbers can be misleading, Gwaltney-Brant cautions. Some brands of gum or candy contain no xylitol, while others contain relatively large amounts. Even within a single brand, the level of xylitol can vary from flavor to flavor and batch to batch, she says.

If you know or suspect your dog has gotten into foods that might contain xylitol, take him to the vet immediately, Gwaltney-Brant says. Problems from blood sugar levels dropping can occur quickly -- "often within 30 minutes to an hour," she notes. Vets can monitor blood sugar levels and start treatment to get blood sugar back up to safe levels.

If you're a fan of sugar-free products, check the labels to see whether they contain xylitol. And it should go without saying that you should do your best to keep Fido away from your gum. He can't blow bubbles anyway.

  • Today's Celebrity Pet!

    Today's Celebrity Pet!

    GWEN STEFANI The singer and her pup hit the beach for a day of sun and fun in Marina del Rey, California.More >>
    BETTY WHITE The Golden Girl shares a sweet cuddle with pooch Delilah while attending the Saturday American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.More >>
  • Wildlife Pic of the Week

    Wildlife Pic of the Week

    Here's today "Wildlife Pic of the Week" from the Smithsonian Magazine:Master of Disguise Photography by Graham McGeorge, Jacksonville, FL, USA Photographed at Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, USAMore >>
    Here's today "Wildlife Pic of the Week" from the Smithsonian Magazine:Master of Disguise Photography by Graham McGeorge, Jacksonville, FL, USA Photographed at Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, USAMore >>
  • Personality and Your Pet

    Personality and Your Pet

    Have you ever wondered what your pet choice says about your personality? Click on this link, it's sure to make you smile!ttp://msnvideo.msn.com/?videoid=0d79b149-c089-4113-808d-fd4320b33d85src=v5:pause:email:from=emailMore >>
    Have you ever wondered what your pet choice says about your personality? Click on this link, it's sure to make you smile!ttp://msnvideo.msn.com/?videoid=0d79b149-c089-4113-808d-fd4320b33d85src=v5:pause:email:from=emailMore >>
  • Should Dogs Ride Loose In the Car?

    Should Dogs Ride Loose In the Car?

    Thanks to Dr. Marty Becker of Vetstreet for this articleI’ve done it, and I know better. You’ve done it, and you probably know better too. I’ve written against it and recommended products that will prevent it. But I bet the majority of pet owners still do it. In fact, I know they do.What am I taking about? Letting dogs ride loose in the car, or even worse, letting a dog sit on your lap in the front seat, head happily out the window. Yes, dogs like — make that love! — doing this. And yes, it’s...More >>
    Thanks to Dr. Marty Becker of Vetstreet for this articleI’ve done it, and I know better. You’ve done it, and you probably know better too. I’ve written against it and recommended products that will prevent it. But I bet the majority of pet owners still do it. In fact, I know they do.What am I taking about? Letting dogs ride loose in the car, or even worse, letting a dog sit on your lap in the front seat, head happily out the window. Yes, dogs like — make that love! — doing this. And yes, it’s...More >>
  • Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month"

    Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month"

    Meet Mandy, a young pit bull terrier mix who is our Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month" for October! Mandy had a bit of a rough start to life but is happy as can be now that she is out of theMore >>
    Meet Mandy, a young pit bull terrier mix who is our Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month" for October! Mandy had a bit of a rough start to life but is happy as can be now that she is out of theMore >>
  • Why Does My Dog...Tilt Her Head to the Side?

    Why Does My Dog...Tilt Her Head to the Side?

    It's a classic dog move: Your pup hears something — a mysterious sound, a smartphone ring, a certain tone of voice — and suddenly her head tilts to one side as if she is contemplating what the sound wantsMore >>
    It's a classic dog move: Your pup hears something — a mysterious sound, a smartphone ring, a certain tone of voice — and suddenly her head tilts to one side as if she is contemplating what the sound wantsMore >>
  • How to Make the Most of Your Visit to the Vet

    How to Make the Most of Your Visit to the Vet

    By Pamela Babcock WebMD Pet Health Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM Taking your pet to the vet? Whether it's a routine appointment or you're checking on symptoms, there are steps you can take to help theMore >>
    By Pamela Babcock WebMD Pet Health Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM Taking your pet to the vet? Whether it's a routine appointment or you're checking on symptoms, there are steps you can take to help theMore >>
  • How to Housetrain Your Puppy or Kitten

    How to Housetrain Your Puppy or Kitten

    ByStephanie Watson WebMD Magazine Reviewed byWilliam Draper, DVM Puppies and kittens aren't like human babies. You can't wait 2 years to start potty training. "With a puppy or kitten you say, "Oh it'sMore >>
    ByStephanie Watson WebMD Magazine Reviewed byWilliam Draper, DVM Puppies and kittens aren't like human babies. You can't wait 2 years to start potty training. "With a puppy or kitten you say, "Oh it'sMore >>
Powered by WorldNow

1808 Eraste Landry Rd, PO Box 90665,
Lafayette LA 70509

Telephone: 337.981.4823
Fax: 337.984.8323
Email: tip10@klfy.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Louisiana, Inc. A Media General Company.