It is common to find dogs chewing on things that are not pet food. Most fur friends will hardly decline to eat bits and pieces from the master’s hand. Your puppy may chew on gum or other objects in an attempt to explore or to relieve pain caused by teething. Older dogs may chew on non-food substances out of boredom. But sometimes, chewing helps to keep your pet’s teeth strong or to relieve anxiety.
However, certain types of gum contain xylitol which is toxic to pets. A majority of chewing gums contain this harmful substance, but the amount is higher in sugar-free gums. Even if your dog chewed gum but didn’t swallow, he may still be affected by xylitol poison. The effects of xylitol vary from one dog to another. Mainly, these reactions depend on the size and the type of gum ingested in relation to the dog’s weight.
Can Your Dog Die from Chewing Gum?
A piece of unchewed gum with xylitol can be extremely poisonous for your 10-pound puppy. Canines react to xylitol within 15-30 minutes of ingesting. If left untreated, your pet may experience severe health complications. This poisoning may lead to kidney failure and eventually the untimely death of your dog.
How Can You Tell if Your Dog Chewed Gum That Contains Xylitol?
Sugar-free gums are highly poisonous to your dog because they contain almost 70% xylitol. This seemingly harmless gum to humans is dangerous for dogs. It can cause a drop in blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. This condition can cause your fur friend to experience lethargy, altered mentation, and behavior. Furthermore, your dog may show staggering, incoordination, and seizures. All these symptoms can happen in no particular order.
Decreased Blood Sugar
In extreme cases, a drop in blood sugar can cause your dog to suffer kidney failure. This complication can lead to the collapse of other organs due to a lack of oxygen supply.
After chewing gum that contains xylitol, your fur friend is likely to lose interest in regular activities like playing or walking. It is wise to avoid forcing your pet to exercise if you notice signs of excessive fatigue, grogginess, and lack of enthusiasm. More so, you need to get your puppy to the vet if the symptoms continue for more than two days.
Altered Mentation and Behavior
The effect of xylitol on your dog can cause your fur friend to respond inappropriately to touch, pressure, pain, and temperature. This toxic substance in chewing gum impairs your rover’s attentiveness, behavior, sensory perception, and consciousness.
Muscle Tremors and Shivering
Toxicological causes like xylitol agents found in certain chewing gums can lead to muscle tremors and shivering in your dog. Some of the reasons for this shaking and trembling reaction in canines include pain and nausea. However, these symptoms can be an indication of more serious issues, like poisoning or kidney disease.
Staggering and Incoordination
Sudden staggering and falling over in dogs can be caused by certain medications or poisoning such as that found in sugar-free chewing gum. You need to take your puppy to the vet if you notice wobbling or unsteady feet. Ingesting gum is highly toxic for your dog, which is why you need to get professional help immediately when your dog starts to act drunk and loses coordination.
The sugar alcohol contained in certain chewing gums is unfit for pet consumption. In canines, xylitol poisoning develops swiftly, and your dog may begin to experience seizures between 15-30 minutes after ingestion.
The xylitol in sugar-free gums triggers a drop in your dog’s blood sugar, consequently leading to seizures.
What to Do When if Your Dog Chews Gum
The traditional home method of rubbing pancake syrup or honey on your puppy’s gums can help stabilize glucose levels. It is also good to feed your fur friend every 2-3 hours for the next 12 hours.
Even so, it is a good idea to contact your vet within 30 minutes after your dog ingests xylitol. Sometimes, your veterinarian may advise you to induce vomiting as a first-aid measure. This procedure requires a 3percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Even so, it is better to take your dog to the vet for a thorough evaluation.
Finally, monitor your dog after every 30 minutes or so and avoid forcing your pet to walk, exercise or play.
Dogs are naturally curious and inquisitive and will often chew on almost anything. Besides, this bizarre act exercises and strengthens your fur friend’s jaws. However, gum that contains xylitol can be lethal to your dog. This seemingly harmless agent found in most sugar-free gums is safe for human consumption but highly toxic for pets. Your four-legged friend may not get chocked if the gum is not swallowed but will still get poisoning from chewing the gum. The effects of xylitol take place within 15-30 minutes after ingestion. It is advisable to take your pet to a veterinarian because some of the symptoms like kidney failure can be life-threatening.