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Chihuahua Survives Toxicity From Sugarless Chewing Gum

Poppa’s Orbit(-al) Adventure Photo of Poppa During Hospitalization For Xylitol ToxicityA patient suffering from one of the fastest growing canine toxicities presented with the need for rapid detoxification. No, the dog did not overdose on medical marijuana baked goods (not an uncommon, inappropriately consumed treat in West Hollywood); he snuck into his mom’s purse and found her half-full pack of Orbit Strawberry Mint sugar free chewing gum. Poppa is a very sweet Chihuahua with a reputation for dietary indiscretion. According to his mother, Poppa and his feline companion, Pumpkin, conspire in these incidences. Evidently, the Pumpkin acts as Poppa’s enabler by knocking items off of the countertop or creating a scenario where access to forbidden consumables is more easily permitted. Pumpkin reportedly aided Poppa’s ingestion of the Orbit gum from his mother’s pocketbook.Photo of Poppa And Pumpkin Are Partners In Crime I more commonly see dogs ingest gum encased on a paper wrapper than that in a sealed blister pack. Orbit gum produces an appealing scent that permeates the paper wrapper containing each piece. Test it yourself, as there is no such detectable smell from gum where each piece is “blister wrapped” like Trident White. The strong aroma emanating from Orbit gum prompts a dog, like Poppa, to commit the act of inappropriate ingestion. In my clinical practice I often face situations where an owner is unaware that a substance having a potentially toxic effect has been consumed by their pet. A variety of manufactured and natural substances can cause toxicity to multiple body systems. The Xylitol (sugar alcohol which acts as a sugar substitute) in sugar free gum only needs to be consumed in small quantities to cause hypoglycemia (reduced blood sugar), liver damage, and diarrhea. A dog of Poppa’s size will suffer toxic effects from consuming only a few pieces of gum. An estimated 7 pieces of the gum were consumed by Poppa on that fateful day. A consultation with a board certified veterinary toxicologist at the APSCA Animal Poison Control Center yielded valuable information directing the treating veterinarian (your’s truly) in providing the best treatment for Poppa’s particular condition. Emesis induction (vomiting) was recommended to initiate the decontamination process. Fortunately, Poppa vomited several pieces of gum when given an injection of Apomorphine. Baseline blood testing showed normal blood glucose and liver values. The hypoglycemic effects of Xylitol typically last for at least 24 hours, so Poppa was started on IV fluids containing dextrose (sugar) to combat the likelihood his blood glucose would drop. Additionally, Poppa received a Sam-E and Milk Thistle supplement to support his liver function. Besides having transient diarrhea, Poppa suffered no further ill effects of Xylitol toxicity. His follow up blood tests revealed normal liver values and Poppa was discharged from the hospital. I sympathize with Poppa, as there was no malicious intent on his part to consume the delicious smelling Orbit gum. Thankfully, Poppa’s very concerned owner immediately brought him to a veterinarian for evaluation and treatment. Hopefully, Pumpkin won’t facilitate her canine housemate's further consumption of inappropriate items. Related Articles Pet Care 101- Why is chocolate unhealthy for my dog? Reduce your pet’s exposure to toxins during October’s National Pet Wellness Month Are your holiday plants toxic to your pet Chocolate toxicity: a common canine Halloween illness Xylitol poisoning- emerging canine toxicity from sugarless chewing gum Health problems associated with consumption of recalled Nutro cat food Bee sting hypersensitivity reactions and Jacaranda tree flowers Thank you for reading my article. To receive a email with a link to my next article, please press the “subscribe” button to the right of my photo. Dr. PM Copyright of this article is owned by California Pet Acupuncture & Wellness (CPAW), Inc. Republishing any portion of this article, pictures, or video in any format must be permitted by CPAW, Inc. Requests for republishing must be approved by CPAW, Inc. and received in written format. Continue reading on Chihuahua survives Xylitol toxicity from Orbit chewing gum - National pet care |
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