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(Toledo News Now) -
ingredient found in many sugar-free gums could be potentially deadly to your
Fogel is close to the Toledo News Now family.
He is a photojournalist at the station, but at home he is a family man who
suffered a painful loss after his dog Maggie passed away suddenly.
came home and found her sitting on the couch just like she normally would be,"
Fogel said. "She had eaten a package of gum."
Fogel and his family noticed Maggie acting tired and not like herself. He and
his wife decided if she wasn't feeling better the next morning, they'd take her
to the vet. But it was too late.
the next day we woke up and she wasn't with us," he said.
ate Orbit gum, which contains Xylitol. It's good for humans who are diabetic or on
low-carb diets, and even contains anti-cavity properties, but for dogs, it can
problem is, for dogs it's very rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream,"
explained Dr. Todd Smith, a vet at Temperance Animal Hospital. "What happens is
that rush of Xylitol in the bloodstream will cause a spike in insulin. That
spike in insulin will cause your blood-glucose (or sugar) levels to drop very
rapidly, so these dogs become hypoglycemic (very low blood sugar) within a very
short period of time."
Smith also said another concern with Xylitol is it only takes a very small
amount to cause problems.
to two pieces of gum could actually cause a problem in a 20-pound dog," he
ASPCA's Animal Poison Control only started tracking Xylitol in 2007. In that
year, they received fewer than 1,000 calls. Now they're receiving up to 6,000
calls per year.
thing with Xylitol is there is no antidote for it, so once they've ingested it,
there is nothing you can do to stop that product from affecting the pet," Smith
said. "But what we can do is get them on IV fluids and supplement the sugar
through those IV fluids."
Orbit isn't the only gum with Xylitol as a sugar substitute. Sugar-free Trident
and Mentos are two other brands to keep away from your pets.
you think your dog has eaten these, look for symptoms of vomiting,
light-headedness and seizures and call your veterinarian immediately.
are pets, but I know that people are in-tune [with their pet]," Fogel said. "Sometimes
that's the only friend they have, and I just don't want to see a package of gum
come between two people, or a person and their pet."