When Buddy the Chihuahua become seriously ill, his owner Kathy Alderman never guessed the culprit was a little pack of chewing gum. Once Buddy arrived at the vet, he was so sick that the doctors guessed he had ingested anti-freeze. Instead, the problem was a bit of gum the pint-sized pooch had purloined from his owner’s purse. It was not the gum itself that caused the turmoil in Buddy’s system, but the Xylitol it contained.
“Xylitol, commonly found in diabetic foods, chewing gum, candy and mints, can wreak havoc on a canine’s blood sugar levels, sometimes resulting in liver and kidney failure, according to the Veterinary Information Network (VIN.)”
We’re all accustomed to watching out for chocolate and other goodies commonly known to be toxic to our pets, but with the increasing number of products containing Xylitol, it’s important to be aware of how dangerous this chemical is. What’s worse is when Alderman checked the gum wrapper, Xylitol was not listed as an ingredient. After consulting the company’s website, she discovered Xylitol was in fact contained in the chewing gum. It seems the lesson is you can’t be too careful. A good rule of thumb is to watch for any product listed as “sugar free.”
Buddy, an abuse rescue who was “dumped to fend for himself after being mistreated” is slowly recovering after dialysis and other expensive treatments. Alderman has set up a Go Fund Me Site to raise money for Buddy’s care. She hopes Buddy’s story will help people become more aware of products containing Xylitol, and keep them out of the reach of canines:
“Anything sugar free, check the labels … If it saves two or three (pets), or if it makes just one more vet aware, it makes it better than it is.”