Causes Of Dog Diarrhea-Dog Poisonings Up 142% Since 2005
Have you ever heard of the artificial sweetener xylitol? It’s been on the market for years now and could kill your dog within hours of ingesting it.
For a one woman, her experience with xylitol was a nightmare, and what happened when her dog got hold of a piece of used sugar-free gum..
If you like to chew gum, you’d better check the label. Veterinarians say they cringe when they see products like Stride or other sugar-free gums sweetened with the xylitol.
Would you know the signs if your dog got hold of it?
Lindsey Wells lost her beloved dog Lucy and hopes it never happens to your pet. Lucy was a ball of doggy energy, whether she was hamming it up for the camera, seen in a picture kissing a Christmas ornament or crashed-out on the heating vent after a long day of play.
“She was silly,” Lindsey Wells said. “There’s no dog that could replace her ever, you could never find her, nowhere, I even found one that kind of looked like her but then I didn’t want to, just decided I didn’t want to get one that looked like her, because I felt like there was only one.”
And what happened to Lucy could easily happen to your pet.
Lucy died after ingesting gum laced with xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs. Xylitol is a common chemical found in most brands of sugar free gum.
It’s what gives gum a sweet taste, especially helpful for diabetics who can’t chew gum made with sugary sweeteners.
Pet owners need to be wary. The U.S. Poison Control Center reports, that dogs poisoned by xylitol is up 142% since 2005.
In fact, xylitol has now become the number one cause of dog poisoning in the U.S., overtaking chocolate and antifreeze. In Lucy’s case, it was as innocent as someone leaving chewing gum on the side of a plate of cake and walking away.
“And Lucy my dog helped herself to it,” Wells said.
Within an hour or two, Lucy started showing signs of xylitol poisoning.
“Her tongue was hanging completely out of her mouth,” Wells said.
The U.S. Poison Control Center reports, just three grams of xylitol can kill a 65-pound dog. Tiny 8 pound Lucy, a 2-year-old pet Lindsey Wells adored, had gotten very sick.
“The throwing-up, the diarrhea, and I just thought she’d eaten something that usually passes through their system and they go on,” Wells said.
She put Lucy in her bed to rest, figuring it was nothing more than a passing illness, but later that night, when she called out to the dog, it was nearly unresponsive.
“She couldn’t stand-up,” Wells said. “She just fell to the ground.”
Wells took Lucy to an emergency vet.
“The first thing they asked me when I rushed her into the vet was has she had any gum?,” said Wells. “And I said ‘I don’t know’, why?”
About 12 hours had passed since the dog had eaten the gum.
“Probably the biggest sign with xylitol toxicity is weakness,” said veterinarian Dr. Amy Snyder. “Just profound weakness, you have an active healthy dog that all of the sudden doesn’t want to get up, can’t lift it’s head.”
Snyder was not the vet who treated Lindsey’s dog, but said xylitol poisoning can be difficult to diagnose right away.
“The ones that are tougher are the ones that come in weak, wobbly, vomiting, diarrhea,” Snyder said. “And you don’t actually diagnose them until you run some blood tests and find low blood sugar.”
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