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Xylitol – A Killer Ingredient

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204 – May 2019

By Amy Fernandez

This topic usually gets top airplay around Christmastime when cats are industriously gobbling up tinsel and dogs; well they’re having a total food orgy with everything else. The thing is we all know better, even without those detailed, annoying holiday lists of unsafe food items. Common sense tells us that certain things might cause some canine digestive disarray. My point is that dogs don’t read the lists, and perhaps we need to work on that because an alarming number of owners don’t seem cognizant of this basic stuff either.

That’s certainly the opinion of CC reader Karen Hanson. Karen, by the way, works for Markel, a major insurance carrier that many of you probably know since they write policies for boarding kennels, groomers, various dog care professionals, clubs and events. That’s not her only stake in the game. She’s bred and shown Brittanys for 40 years, including national specialty winners.

She says, “A few months ago I posted on Facebook about paying an insurance claim for a dog that ate chewing gum at one of our insured’s — and that vet bill was well over $5000. Luckily, that dog lived.” Now, that in itself is a thought to consider, but we’ve got bigger issues to discuss. “It was really shocking how many people replied that they had no idea that most sugar-free gums can kill a dog. No one seemed to know how many products contain Xylitol.”

And that’s just page one of this distressing story. “This week, handler Leslie Racine posted a Facebook story about a client’s dog (who was home with her owner when exposed). This dog did not make it,” she tells us. A few days later (this was the proverbial icing on the cake) Hanson says, “A handler called me as one of her clients was at the emergency vet and they hoped they could save the dog. Someone brought them a cheesecake with a sugar substitute in it. Yup…Xylitol.”

Exasperating isn’t quite sufficient to describe her justified reaction. “Most people have no idea how many products contain this ingredient or the fact that a small amount can be potentially lethal to dogs. Most products that contain Xylitol have no warnings that they are toxic to dogs,” she warns.

Click here to read the complete article
204 – May 2019

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  • September 2019