A new warning from the FDA says that you may want to start checking the labels of the products you buy if you're a dog owner.
A fairly common substance out there has been linked to a number of dog poisonings.
It’s called xylitol, and it is an artificial sweetener found in gum, mints, and nut butters. It’s also potentially deadly for your canine friend, according to a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Xylitol does have beneficial effects for humans, especially when it comes to dental health, which is why it is used in chewing gum. But the ingredient is quite dangerous for dogs because it causes the pancreas in dogs to secrete insulin, something that doesn’t happen in humas. Because of the sudden release of insulin, the dog’s blood sugar starts to drop quickly to the point that it can cause death.
The FDA has so far received several reports of dog poisonings.
Signs of xylito poisoning include vomiting and symptoms associated with a sudden lowering of blod sugar, like decreased activity, incoordination, collapse, and seizures.
If you think your dog has consumed xylitol, take him or her to a vet or an emergency animal hospital right away. Hypoglycemia may take between 12 to 24 hours to set in after consumption, so symptoms may not show up right away.
You can avoid xylitol poisoning in your dog by checking labels and avoiding products that have them. If you do have these products, keep them out of reach of your pets.
“FDA wants to know if your pet encounters safety issues with a product, and/or unanticipated harmful effects that you believe are related to a product,” the statement reads. “Each report is evaluated to determine how serious the problem is and, if necessary, additional information may be requested from the person who filed the report. You can report problems related to both human and pet foods and treats at the Safety Reporting Portal.”