According to a recent article on Life With Dogs, dog owner Kathy Alderman learned the hard way that chewing gum is bad for dogs. She rushed her Chihuahua, Buddy, to the veterinary clinic when he suddenly became very ill and veterinarians initially thought the cause may have been antifreeze.
It was soon discovered that Buddy had gotten into some gum in Kathy’s purse after he passed a gum wrapper. Many types of chewing gum contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is very poisonous to dogs. Fortunately, cats don’t seem to be affected, but dogs who have consumed xylitol experience a drop in blood sugar levels and it can lead to liver and kidney failure.
Buddy’s condition was quite serious and he has needed over $5,000 in treatment so far. Fortunately, he is improving and should be able to come home soon. Alderman hopes to get the word out about the dangers of xylitol. “Anything sugar free, check the labels,” she said. “If it saves two or three (pets), or if it makes just one more vet aware, it makes it better than it is.”