Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gum Follow-Up: The Dangers of Xylitol

The other day I mentioned Vinson had discovered a patch of sticky gum in the parking lot. He didn't ingest any of it as I corrected and redirected him immediately, but a staff member from the Breeding Station asked that I share the dangers that a simple piece of gum can pose for dogs.

Xylitol is a sweetener used in many sugar-free gums (and other products).

According to, "The sweetener xylitol is toxic to dogs. It has been known to cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in dogs for years, but recently it has been discovered that it can cause acute liver disease and a coagulopathy (inability to clot the blood). A study found that 0.5g/kg or more of ingested xylitol can cause liver failure." Some sugar-free gums on the market contain as much as double that dangerous amount IN A SINGLE PIECE!

So, be very careful to ensure your dog doesn't get his mouth on gum or sugar-free candies. And perhaps more importantly, be a good citizen for all dogs by always disposing of gum and candy properly!

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