This common ingredient can kill your dog in an hour

This is a scary warning for dog owners. There’s a poison hiding in your kitchen, bathroom, or even your purse that could potentially kill your dog in under an hour. What it isIt’s called xylitol. It’s a type of sugar substitute, a sweetener that’s found in food and common products. Xylitol can also be marketed as birch sugar, wood sugar or birch bark extract. When dogs eat something with xylitol in it, the xylitol is absorbed into the blood at a quicker rate. That could result in a release of insulin from the pancreas and a decrease in blood sugar. This hypoglycemia can be deadly to dogs. Some dogs experience organ failure, blood clotting, etc. have a result. Andrew Holycross says his family dog, Wolfie, was an exceptional being and an amazing dog. His family was well-educated on the dangers of xylitol but didn’t know they had bought sugar-free gum. Wolfie got into his wife’s purse and ate the gum. Within 36 hours, Wolfie died. “It was really hard. Wolfie was a huge part of the healing for our family,” Holycross said. David Pineda had a similar situation happen with his dog Toby back in April. He says Toby was the type of dog who loved figuring things out. He was ornery and rambunctious. He had even figured out how to use zippers. And that’s how he got into a purse with gum inside it.”Almost immediately you could see that he was out of spells. He was throwing up. He wasn’t getting over it,” Pineda said. “The look on his face was different. It’s like he knew something was different.”After doing some research and finding out about xylitol, they took Toby to the vet. He suffered from organ failure. The xylitol also prohibited his body from clotting blood. While they were told there was a chance of survival, Toby took a turn for the worse and died within a few days.”It was horrible what was happening to his little body,” Pineda said. “He was being devastated. This is something that stays with us. Not just losing him, but losing him in that fashion because he very obviously suffered.”Symptoms Bleeding ComaDecreased activity level or lethargy Difficulty walking or standingIncoordination Liver failureShaking or seizuresStaggering VomitingWeakness and collapseProducts it’s in Below is a list of things xylitol could be in: Baked goodsBreath mintsChildren and adult chewable vitaminsCough syrupDietary supplements GumMouthwash Over-the-counter medicines Peanut and nut butters Sugar-free things Toothpaste What to do If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, you don’t have much time. You need to get your dog to a vet or emergency clinic right away.The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) says calls into their center and cases reported to them have increased over the last few years: 2018: 6,726 boxes 2019: 7,846 boxes 2020: 7,811 boxes 2021: 10,023 boxes 2022: 4,658 boxes from Jan. 1 to June 16. The fight for change Andrew Holycross reached out to his local Congressman, Rep. David Schweikert after his dog died. He showed him a logo he and a team designed that warns dog owners when a product has xylitol in it. The logo is simple, a paw with a circle around it and a line through it.”It crosses language barriers. You’ll know immediately what that means when you see that on the label,” Holycross said. bipartisan support and is sitting in the House Energy and Commerce Committee right now. The American Kennel Club, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and American Veterinary Medical Association all support the passing of this bill. Holycross brought up a good point saying, “You know when you’re buying chocolate. Everyone knows chocolate is bad for your dog. Macadamia nuts, garlic, onions…everyone knows this stuff is bad. But you know when you buy it. You don’t know when you buy xylitol. That’s why we need a label on it. All we’re asking for is a fair warning. We’re not asking to have it taken off shelves. It’s got health benefits for people. But you need to know when you’re buying it for dog owners.”Pineda agreed, saying, “Lawmakers, it’s time to take action.”How you can get involved If you’re interested in moving this bill along, you can email your local members of Congress. It’s easy. Multiple websites have created a form for you to do so. Just click one (or all) of the links below. They will lead you to the forms: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals North American Veterinary Community American Veterinary Medical Association More on xylitol Read more on the warning from the FDA by clicking here. If you’d like to warn others about this danger, the FDA provides a poster that you can print. Click here for that.

This is a scary warning for dog owners. There’s a poison hiding in your kitchen, bathroom, or even your purse that could potentially kill your dog in under an hour.

What it is

It’s called xylitol. It’s a type of sugar substitute, a sweetener that’s found in food and common products. Xylitol can also be marketed as birch sugar, wood sugar or birch bark extract.

What happens to dogs

In people and dogs, blood sugar levels are controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. When dogs eat something with xylitol in it, the xylitol is absorbed into the blood at a quicker rate. That could result in a release of insulin from the pancreas and a decrease in blood sugar. This hypoglycemia can be deadly to dogs. Some dogs experience organ failure, blood clotting, etc. have a result.

Andrew Holycross says his family dog, Wolfie, was an exceptional being and an amazing dog. His family was well-educated on the dangers of xylitol but didn’t know they had bought sugar-free gum. Wolfie got into his wife’s purse and ate the gum.

Within 36 hours, Wolfie died. “It was really hard. Wolfie was a huge part of the healing for our family,” Holycross said.

David Pineda had a similar situation happen with his dog Toby back in April. He says Toby was the type of dog who loved figuring things out. He was ornery and rambunctious. He had even figured out how to use zippers. And that’s how he got into a purse with gum inside it.

“Almost immediately you could see that he was out of sorts. He was throwing up. He wasn’t getting over it,” Pineda said. “The look on his face was different. It’s like he knew something was different.”

After doing some research and finding out about xylitol, they took Toby to the vet. He suffered from organ failure. The xylitol also prohibited his body from clotting blood. While they were told there was a chance of survival, Toby took a turn for the worse and died within a few days.

“It was horrible what was happening to his little body,” Pineda said. “He was being devastated. This is something that stays with us. Not just losing him, but losing him in that fashion because he very obviously suffered.”

Symptoms

  • bleeding
  • Coma
  • Decreased activity level or lethargy
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Incoordination
  • Liver failure
  • Shaking or seizures
  • staging
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness and collapse

Products it’s in

Below is a list of things xylitol could be in:

  • baked goods
  • Breath mints
  • Children and adult chewable vitamins
  • Cough syrup
  • Dietary supplements
  • gum
  • Mouthwash
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Peanut and nut butters
  • Sugar-free things
  • Toothpaste

What to do

If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, you don’t have much time. You need to get your dog to a vet or emergency clinic right away.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) says calls into their center and cases reported to them have increased over the last few years:

  • 2018: 6,726 squares
  • 2019: 7,846 squares
  • 2020: 7,811 squares
  • 2021: 10,023 squares
  • 2022: 4,658 boxes from Jan. 1 to June 16.

The fight for change

Andrew Holycross reached out to his local Congressman, Rep. David Schweikert after his dog died. He showed him a logo he and a team designed that warns dog owners when a product has xylitol in it. The logo is simple, a paw with a circle around it and a line through it.

“It crosses language barriers. You’ll know immediately what that means when you see that on the label,” Holycross said.

Schweikert drafted a bill that has bipartisan support and is sitting in the House Energy and Commerce Committee right now. The American Kennel Club, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and American Veterinary Medical Association all support the passing of this bill.

Holycross brought up a good point saying, “You know when you’re buying chocolate. Everyone knows chocolate is bad for your dog. Macadamia nuts, garlic, onions…everyone knows this stuff is bad. But you know when you buy it. You don’t know when you buy xylitol. That’s why we need a label on it. All we’re asking for is a fair warning. We’re not asking to have it taken off shelves. It’s got health benefits for people. But you need to know when you’re buying it for dog owners.”

Pineda agreed, saying, “Lawmakers, it’s time to take action.”

How you can get involved

If you’re interested in moving this bill along, you can email your local members of Congress. It’s easy. Multiple websites have created a form for you to do so. Just click one (or all) of the links below. They will lead you to the forms:

More on xylitol

Read more on the warning from the FDA by clicking here. If you’d like to warn others about this danger, the FDA provides a poster that you can print. Click here for that.

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