Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Poison Warning

The vetnurse site l go on has posted a warning for us to pass on, have not heard of this before but it is available all over the world:

A popular sweetener found in chewing gum and used in cooking has been blamed for the agonising death of two pet dogs. The case in Australia, being investigated by the RSPCA, has prompted an urgent warning that the artificial sweetener xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and cats. It is not harmful to humans but the amount in one stick of chewing gum could kill a family pet.

The dogs' owners are angry that they had no warning about the sweetener's potential dangers. The family's dogs ate most of a batch of 60 homemade petit fours sweetened with xylitol.
Both dogs vomited late that night and were lethargic and not hungry the next day. They assumed the dogs had bellyache from overeating. It was not until two days later that they realised how sick they were. The dogs were rushed to the vet, but died from internal bleeding.

Australian Veterinary spokesman Dr David Mason said if owners suspected a dog or cat had consumed xylitol, they should rush the animal to a vet within an hour or two to have a chance of a full recovery.

Apparently Xylitol causes dogs and cats to secrete insulin so the animals blood sugar levels drop very quickly. Liver failure follows and regardless of Intensive treatment the outcome is usually fatal.


Annette said...

That is like chocolate and turkey isn't it?
Dogs must not eat our chocolate or turkey as it can make them very ill.
I'm not sure why excactly, perhaps it is the sweetness of the chocolate.

Auntie Jane said...

I did know about this... I read it a while ago and we discussed it on one of my email lists.

If I remember rightly, there are other products that contain xylitol but I can't remember what they are right now.

I am surprised more vets don't know about this or about how dangerous raisens can be to dogs.

Roses said...

This is why I stick with sugar - makes you fat and rots your teeth. While I'm sure that artificial sweetner is supposed to be okay for humans...it's just got to make you wonder.

Certainly proves the point that you shouldn't feed animals crap.

Anonymous said...

You know, even though it is considered 'safe' for human consumption, one has to wonder just how safe. Good post.


Anonymous said...

PS. Just reading over some of the other comments. With the exception of my new dog Tui, all my dogs have been chocoholics and lived to ripe old ages. Tatra, my longest lived gal ate a whole pound of Hershey's Kisses, in the wrapper and lived to tell about it. Reminiscent of the Goose that laid the golden egg, she pooped bright silver tinfoil logs for a week.

Tui, my newest gal, eats turkey just fine. In fact, she's had about three big birds to herself (part of my year in provisions project, I'm now feeding her and my cat off the farm). She's eaten it both raw and cooked (though only the heads and some of the guts raw, not the meat).

Tui however, is the first dog I've known that doesn't like chocolate. A refreshing change to be able to leave her at home along with a box of After Eights and know it will still be there when I get home!

Vetnurse said...

Annette do not know who said that about turkey but there is nothing wrong with it. Well ok the turkeys may not be happy but otherwise it is fine.

Chocolate contains theobromine it is a systemic poison and hits the organs, animals can not expel it from their system so it keeps circulating. We drip them and treat symptoms as they appear and give activated charcoal to help grab the chocolate and excrete it from their bodies.

Jane l was asking here apparently they have had some dogs that have eaten xylitol in but not when l was on duty. As to the grape family any vet that does not know they are dangerous needs to be shot!
Here any queries we get and not 100% sure of the poisons unit are rung, they are always excellent and very helpful.

Roses l won't touch any sweeteners and look at foods etc for them. I have read enough about the damage to our bodies from diabetes, depression memory loss ...on and on etc.
Give me sugar any day.

HDR you are very lucky Tatra was ok. Chocolate is more toxic the darker it is. However the advice is always only use doggie choc and do not give human.
Dog chocolate has the theobromine removed otherwise is identical to human chocolate. I understand that chocolate is toxic to humans if enough is eaten.

Vetnurse said...

Forgot to add that the coco shells that are used in gardening are also toxic and have been implicated in dog poisonings quite often as well.
Again no warning is published on the bags.

Auntie Jane said...

You replied:
'As to the grape family any vet that does not know they are dangerous needs to be shot!'

I agree with you!

A couple or so years ago, a friend of mine found that two of her dogs had found a bag of raisons. She rushed them to her nearest vet as she knew they needed treatment instantly. That vet hadn't a clue what she was talking about. She told them what was needed... She had working in vet surgeries... She threatened the poor man and made him phone whoever, to get information.

She doesn't use that vet at all now. It is just that it was an emergency at the time.

I've never heard that turkey isn't good for dogs either. Mine love their extra treat at Christmas which is when I have a lot of turkey around... though I never give them the skin as I believe, too much can give them the runs.

As for chocolate... I can't believe there is anyone left who owns a dog, that doesn't know of the dangers.

As for the coco shells; no warning on the packets is dreadful. What can one do but keep warning other pet owners about it.

Vetnurse said...

Good Grief Jane thats shocking about the vet.
As to warnings the problem is that so often people do ignore it. Take bob martins flea treatment for dogs, big warning toxic to cats so what do people do.
Yup you guessed right keep pouring money into the vet coffers because they have used the stuff on their cats.

Anonymous said...

You know, when I found Tatra she was just scoffing down the last 'kiss', and having heard all that about chocolate and dogs, I was horrified. But, she LOVED chocolate and ate it like a hormonal woman all her life. It was funny, one of the first dates I had with my now husband, he'd given me a box of After Eights and then we went to dinner. When we got home, the box was torn open and all the wrappers were all over the living room. When I blamed her he said, 'Oh that is a bit pathetic...blaming the dog for your overindulgence!'

If I wanted the chocolate, I had to make sure it was not within doggy grasp, otherwise I lost out and did on numerous occassions.