The Dangers of Xylitol

Rose Dybel is an employee of From Wags to Whiskers. She sent me this email. It is an important message to all pet owners.

 Minpin Ted and Rose

Last night I came home from playing tennis and discovered three Orbit gum wrappers torn on the floor.  My 14 lb. min pin, Ted, got into my husband’s computer bag and had eaten the 3 pieces of gum.  I had heard about the dangers of xylitol to dogs and knew it was an ingredient in the sugar free gum that my husband and I chew, i.e. it is in Orbit and Trident gum, etc.

I didn’t really think that 3 pieces of gum could hurt my dog but I immediately took him to the Blue Pearl emergency room just in case, especially considering how small Ted is.  To my horror, not only could 3 pieces of gum containing xylitol have hurt Ted, it could have killed him!!  I was informed by the ASPCA’s animal poison control that if it had been Trident gum, he WOULD have died (astonishingly, there is over 100-1000 times more xylitol in Trident brand gum vs the Orbit gum Ted ingested).  As it turns out, the Orbit was toxic enough and the vet had to induce him to vomit, which was traumatic enough for him, but thankfully no damage had been done to his liver.

I wanted to share this story with you in case you wanted to pass the info to your customers.  For those who don’t know about xylitol, it is a sugar substitute that is being used more and more in foods, especially to accommodate the increasing numbers of people diagnosed with diabetes.  It is now found in some kinds of sugar free gum, candy, peanut butter, jello, no-sugar baked goods, and even in toothpaste!  It is 100 times more toxic to dogs than chocolate, and it does not take much of it to be ingested to cause hypoglycemia, liver failure and ultimately death.   It is supposedly safe for humans and cats, but obviously VERY toxic to dogs.

If this information can help just one dog owner, it is worth it to pass it on.”