(Mirror Daily, United States) – Dog owners were advised by the U.S Food, and Drug Administration, to be aware of the xylitol, a regular sweetener that can be found in sugar-free gums, one that might turn out to be fatal for dogs, if consumed.
There are already a few years since the number of dogs poisoned by xylitol has drastically increased. The Animal Poison Control Center from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) made a report, stating that the number of cases has increased from 82 in 2004 to over 3,700 in 2014. Plus, a 15 percent call increase was registered by the Pet Poison Helpline.
Xylitol is also found in human food, but our bodies process it differently than dogs do, meaning that it is dangerous for them. According to the FDA explanation, xylitol does not quicken the release of insulin from the pancreas, whereas in the case of canines it’s otherwise. Their pancreas releases a massive amount of insulin, and they also absorb this sweetener more quickly into the bloodstream.
Most importantly, dog owners must keep their dogs away from chewing gum. However, there are many products which are sugar-free, such as cough syrup, toothpaste, breath mints, mouthwash, and candy.
Everyone knows that dogs and chewing gum have no connection, but dogs are curious, meaning that their owners should always pay attention to what their dogs are sniffing. Also, they should keep on high ground the products which contain xylitol.
Moreover, dogs are always hungry; they rarely refuse food, especially something sweet. That’s another reason why owners should keep an eye on their dogs, according to Ashley Gallagher from the Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington D.C.
The main symptoms of xylitol poisoning consists in vomiting succeeded by a sudden dip in blood sugar, leading to a decrease in activity, lack of coordination, weakness, staggering, ending in collapse and seizures.
According to Martine Hartogensis, FDA veterinarian, if you have a dog, and you care about its health, then you should check the ingredients label. This way, you make sure that the product with which you want feed the dog, does not contain xylitol.
Veterinarians and other experts were already aware of the danger represented by xylitol, even before the FDA warning. Still, it is a good thing that it is now official.
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