The Silent Killer in Your House
I wrote an article on this a few years back, but I think it needs to be revisited.
How many of you have sugar free gum in your purse, or on your counter?
I am guessing the vast majority of people do.
Just a couple of sticks of sugar free bubble gum ingested by your dog can be deadly.
Years ago, when I was house sitting, a couple of beagles I was watching jumped up on the table and stole and ate a few sticks of sugarless gum from my purse.
Thankfully, I noticed and was able to get them to the vet in a timely fashion where they were able to treat before it became a deadly situation.
It was at that moment that I stopped buying or using sugarless gum. If I need gum, I make sure it has sugar in it.
It scares me whenever I see the kids I live with bring home gum in their pockets.
After all I don’t buy poisonous plants and leave them laying around the house.
I say NO the Easter Lilly and a Poinsettia has never crossed the boundaries of my home.
I don’t leave anti-freeze out and lock up dangerous medications.
Why would gum be any different? I mean gum even SMELLS GOOD to dogs!
Xylitol a chemical in sugar free gum, and other sugar free products (one recently being sugar free peanut butter) is deadly to dogs in very small doses.
I am a vet tech at an animal hospital and we have this note up at work specifically about gum toxicity.
There are two levels of xylitol poisoning in dogs. The lower level kicks in at 100 mg/kg and shows hypoglycemia (rapid drop in blood sugar)sometimes resulting in death.
The second level kicks in at 500 mg/kg and results in liver failure (which again can result in death).
2 pieces of gum per 10# is BAD!
Dogs Can’t Count
A dog can’t count or know how many pieces of gum will kill them. They don’t know it isn’t meant to be “consumed” instead they just know how good it smells.
And, honestly the above is based on the “average” dog, some dogs will be even more susceptible to gum/xylitol toxicity.
Go Directly to the Animal ER
A friend of a vet that I work with accidentally let their Golden get into several sticks of gum (over 20), and when they called to be advised they were warned to go immediately to an emergency clinic!
The dog vomited well over 20 pieces of gum and had to spend several days in the animal ER on intravenous fluids, racking up a bill well over $3,000.
So when you see that giant package of many packs of sugar free bubble gum at your local big box store, ask yourself if it is really worth a couple bucks to bring it home and hope that your dog doesn’t smell it’s deliciousness and break into the bag.
And, if you find that your dog has gotten into sugarless gum; remember it is an emergency.
Get yourself to the nearest animal emergency clinic so your dog can be treated as quickly as possible!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.