Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Cautionary Tail . . . er . . . Tale

I’ll tell you right now, my post today has nothing at all to do with writing. But it should be of interest to those of you who own dogs, or know someone who does.

This is the story of Louie, a seven-month-old Scotty who belongs to my daughter. Like most puppies (and terriers in particular), Louie is curious. He’s been known to get into trouble when he’s not watched carefully.

That’s exactly what happened last week when Louie highjacked Anne’s purse, rooted through it and ate a package of gum.

Funny, right? We thought so, too, until it occurred to us that maybe she should call the vet.

What Anne found out will make dog owners’ hair stand on end.

You see, there is an ingredient called XYLITOL that’s being used in a lot of gums, mints, candies, etc. It’s apparently just fine for people to eat, but xylitol can be fatal to dogs. First it makes their blood sugars plummet, then it shuts down their livers.

After his gum foray, Louie spent most of one evening in the doggy ER. He went to his regular vet the next day and ended up being hospitalized overnight.

The good news is that he’s fine now, and back to his old trouble-making ways. The bad news could have been very bad, indeed.

Louie’s gum of choice was Orbit spearmint, and we’ve contacted the Wrigley people and asked that they put a warning on their label. Gum (and mints, etc.) that contain xylitol need to be kept out of reach of dogs. If you’d like to drop them a line and tell them you agree, you can go to

PS–I’m gone this weekend attending a police academy at a writers’ conference. I’ll check in when I get home on Sunday!


Blodeuedd said...

That is so horrible, I am so glad he is ok now

Janicu said...

Glad you took him to the vet. My brother's dog had to go to the doggie ER too for being curious too. My brother forgot to close the guest bedroom door after he wa sin there and the dog he decided to go through our luggage, bit through a ziplock bag and ate about 5 extra strength tylenol. Oy vey.

December said...

This happened to my friends dog too. A few thousand dollars later, the dog's fine. but WOW, what a terrible lesson!

Lori Devoti said...

Oh, hugs! I always check for Xylitol before buying gum. I almost picked up a big giant box at Sam's the other day though thinking it was the safe kind then remembered to double check. Sure enough xylitol.
I think word is getting out though and the manufacturers will have to move away from it.