Artificial Sweetener Used In Chewing Gum Can Kill Dogs

Posted: May 14 2016, 9:46am CDT | by , Updated: May 14 2016, 4:19pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Artificial Sweetener Used in Chewing Gum can Kill Dogs
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FDA warns a common sweetener xylitol could have devastating effects on dogs.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about a sweetener that could have devastating effects on dogs.

Xylitol is a common artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gums and other products. The substance can spike insulin levels in dogs and lead to dangerously low blood sugar which can prove life-threatening if the affected dog is not treated in time.

The warning was released Thursday after the FDA received multiple reports from dog owners about their pet being poisoned by xylitol. The substance is not only found in sugar-free gums, but also used in candies, mints and chocolate bars, baked goods, mouthwash etc.

“If you’re concerned about your dog eating a food or product with xylitol in it, check the label of ingredients. If does, indeed, say that it contains xylitol, make sure your pet can’t get to it.” Martine Hartogensis, an FDA veterinarian said.

Symptoms are usually visible 12 to 24 hours after the consumption of substance and may include vomiting, lower activity, weakness, collapse and seizures. If these symptoms are reflected in the dog, the owners need to take their pet to the hospital for treatment otherwise it could lead to severe illness or even death.

Xylitol is not dangerous to humans but dogs and the reason is:

“In both people and dogs, the level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. In people, xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. However, it’s different in canines: when dogs eat something containing xylitol, the xylitol is more quickly absorbed into bloodstream and may result in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas.” FDA press release says.

To avoid possible side effects, FDA advices that people should keep products containing xylitol well out of their dog’s reach. Only use pet mouthwash or toothpaste for dogs, never human products. If people are going to give your dog a candy or a sweet as a treat, read the product labal before purchasing.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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