Being a pet owner requires constant monitoring of your beloved friend. If you turn your attention away for even a few minutes, your beloved pup has plenty of time to snatch something off the ground; this time it’s gum! So naturally, you are left wondering – what happens if my dog eats gum? If that gum happens to be sugar-free, then your dog could be in real trouble. Sugar-free gum may contain xylitol, a substance that is quite toxic to dogs. Read below to learn what exactly happens when a dog eats gum that contains xylitol and how you as an owner can ensure they stay healthy in the future.
What Makes Sugar-Free Gum Toxic to Dogs?
Xylitol, a sugar alternative found in many sugar-free goods and products, is a natural sugar alcohol. It can be found in gum, candy, diabetic snacks, baked goods, and toothpaste for humans. After ingestion, xylitol is quickly absorbed into the body. Just like natural sugar, it triggers the pancreas to release insulin which controls blood sugar levels. However, this process can cause a significant decrease in blood sugar, leading to a condition called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can result in seizures.
Following xylitol ingestion, dogs may experience symptoms such as nausea and dizziness. Vomiting may also occur, and they might have difficulty walking. In cases where a substantial amount of xylitol is consumed, liver failure may develop. Without prompt attention, dogs may collapse and even face fatal consequences.
Symptoms of Poisoning
Many of the clinical signs of xylitol poisoning occur due to low blood sugar, but gastrointestinal problems may also arise. Poisoning symptoms manifest quickly and can worsen if your dog does not receive prompt treatment. Common symptoms to watch out for include:
- Difficulty walking
- Liver damage
If your pup has ingested sugar-free gum, you must contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for medical care. Transport your pup to the veterinary clinic for treatment as soon as possible. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove the gum from your dog’s system. IV fluids may be administered to combat dehydration. Liver monitoring tests may be used to detect possible liver damage. If you have anu questions or concerns, contact Pet Poison Helpline today!