There once was an adorable Keeshond – let’s call her Sunlight. Sunlight loves human treats as most dogs do – but this time overdid things a bit! She scarfed down 13 pieces of sugarless gum. Now, most people would think that this is a good thing – their dog would have nice fresh breath for an hour or two at least! But sugarless gum can be a deadly thing in dogs.
Some gums are sweetened with a substance called Xylitol. It is a sugarless alcohol that does not cause any metabolic changes in humans but big changes in dogs. It produces a rapid increase in insulin levels which results in a significant lowering of the dog’s blood glucose. Low blood glucose causes symptoms such as weakness, sleepiness, depression, stumbling or difficulty walking straight, seizures and even coma. Then, as a long term result, xylitol can also develop liver problems or even liver failure.
If you see your dog eat gum containing xylitol the best course of action is to get them to vomit (call us for instructions) right away. If they are already really sleepy it may be too dangerous to do this at home and a very quick drive to the clinic is a better option.
So, what happened to Sunlight? Well, we did get her to vomit and she had to stay in the clinic overnight but she is back at home now and keeping her owners on their toes trying to keep things out of her reach!