Joey’s Tuesday Tip – Sugar Free Dangers
By Scott Lackenby | Dated January 27, 2015
Heya peeps! How are you all? Hard getting back to work after the long weekend? Not that it was great weather for a long weekend. Apparently it was the coldest Australia Day in Sydney for 50 years! It makes me glad on these not so nice days that I have a cosy bed at a Pymble Vet with a building full of people to love me and feed me. I am a super lucky kitty cat!!
This week I wanted to talk to you about a potentially lethal toxicity for dogs that you may be unaware of. Xylitol is an artificial sweetner often found in sugar free chewing gums and toothpastes. And while artificial sweetners can have some health benefits for you humans, xylitol can be lethal when consumed by dogs. For dogs, xylitol tricks their body into thinking they’ve eaten real sugar, causing the pancreas to release insulin. This causes the blood sugar levels to drop which can lead to weakness, disorientation and even seizures. High levels of xylitol consumption can lead to problems with blood clotting and liver failure, which can lead to death.
So how much xylitol would your dog have to eat before symptoms are seen? Surprisingly not much. As little as a stick and a half of gum can start to have an effect on the blood sugar levels of a 5kg dog and eating a full packet can lead to changes in the liver.
Pretty scary stuff! Like with most toxic substances, the sooner they are seen by a Vet the better the chance of a positive outcome from treatment. If you have products in the house that contain xylitol, be sure they are out of reach of your canine companion. If they do eat anything containing xylitol, either bring them in or call us for advice.