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View Full Version : Veterinary- Xylitol Poisoning/ Chewing Gum Tox


doctorrich
08-13-2008, 11:20
Mods, if this doesn't belong in this specific forum, please correct me.

Hi, guys...

thought I'd pass on a quick note here to the rest of us K9 folks. We're starting to see toxic reactions in dogs when they get ahold of chewing gum containing the sweetener XYLITOL. It's going to be listed on the ingredients label on the side of the gum. Common brands include STRIDE and ORBIT, along with a lot of others.

A brief abstract-

Chewing gum toxicosis

Disease description:
Pure xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol. It has been used as a sugar substitute and can be found in sugar-free candy, gums and other products. In humans, xylitol has little to no effect on plasma insulin or glucose levels, but in dogs xylitol is a strong promoter of insulin release and can cause severe hypoglycemia with ataxia, collapse and seizures. Hypokalemia can be present and is likely due to potassium shift (insulin drives potassium into the cells). Xylitol can also cause hepatic necrosis and death. 1,3-5

HOW MUCH XYLITOL CAUSES TOXICITY?
A cup of xylitol powder weighs about 190 g. 3 Information published on VIN message boards indicates that 0.2-0.4 g/kg IV can cause hypoglycemia. It is suspected that similar oral doses could cause hypoglycemia since it is absorbed well. Chewing gums that are largely or only sweetened with xylitol contain about 1-2 grams/piece. Thus one or two pieces of gum could cause hypoglycemia in a 10 kg dog. 4

HEPATIC INJURY
Some dogs develop elevated liver enzymes 8-12 hours post-xylitol ingestion and recover fully. Others develop acute liver failure, hemorrhage, and disseminated intravascular coagulation and often die. The lowest dose to cause hepatic necrosis is thought to be 1.6-2 g/kg. Most of the dogs who developed acute hepatic failure and DIC actually did not apparently show signs of hypoglycemia after ingestion of xylitol. 3 Further observations suggested that these cases became acutely ill about 48 hours post xylitol ingestion and had extremely elevated ALTs (often not measurable), elevated bilirubin, and prolonged PT/PTTs. In some cases of hepatic necrosis, hypophosphatemia was found initially but was followed by hyperphosphatemia in the terminal stages.

Translation- a single piece of xylitol gum isn't usually a problem in big dogs. If you're unsure about the amount ingested, contact your veterinarian ASAP.

This is new information.

swatsurgeon
08-13-2008, 12:28
this actually does belong here.....dogs are an ever increasing asset to the military and law enforcement.
I have personally operated on a police dog that was shot and they are officers...the bad guy gets the same punishmnet as shooting a 2 legged officer.
I believe medics need to be able to respond to the medical needs of the animals...18D's get trained in all kinds of animal care as far as I know. We teach k9 care in our tac-med course and I pushed to have our paramedic school have a vet class to teach this stuff.

ss

Peregrino
08-13-2008, 16:12
Don't forget about the SF working dogs. They are an important asset and the medics will have to expand their veterinary education to care for them. Saw one today who is being retired and adopted out for injuries suffered in an IED attack. FWIW

jbour13
08-13-2008, 16:42
Don't forget about the SF working dogs. They are an important asset and the medics will have to expand their veterinary education to care for them. Saw one today who is being retired and adopted out for injuries suffered in an IED attack. FWIW

You gonna put this one out, or should I await that "PimbleGram" :D

I send it to the Med Shed in my Bn, we were just talking about VetCAP stuff. Funny thing is, this was during a pincushion session for one of my Soldiers that has been on hitlist after hitist. He's a big one, we call him "The Swede" or Bam Bam (Sorry Bam Bam ;))

Red Flag 1
08-13-2008, 17:19
Great post!!

With four dogs in my family, I thank you for the heads up!

RF 1

Doczilla
08-14-2008, 05:19
For those with military working dogs, it's worth noting that the gum in MRE's now is xylitol containing dental gum.

'zilla

Razor
08-15-2008, 09:51
this actually does belong here.....dogs are an ever increasing asset to the military and law enforcement.

For example, from the "Commando Training" thread/NPR report (hardcore pup even carries his own ruck):

doctorrich
08-15-2008, 13:34
That is a really cool photo, Razor.

I'll continue to post occasional threads of interest, but please don't hesitate to PM me with any questions. I'll find the answer if I don't have it.