Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is often used as a sugar substitute. Its use is increasing due to the popularity of reduced sugar diets in people.
The risk of poisoning in dogs that consume sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol is relatively well known, but the use of xylitol in other foods, such as baked goods and drinks, is increasing and the risk is often not recognized.
Dogs react differently to xylitol compared to most other species.
The toxic effects in dogs are related to the secretion of excessive insulin, leading to hypoglycemia, and in severe cases, liver failure. Symptoms include vomiting, weakness, ataxia, and seizures.
Xylitol can be found in peanut butter and other nut butters, commonly used in sugar-free baked goods too, such as cookies and muffins, chewing gums, mints, mouthwashes, toothpastes (even children's), chewable vitamins. Please don't assume that things which are safe for you are also safe for your pets. Read the ingredient labels on products you bring into your home, and especially do so before sharing anything with your pets. If your pets ever gets into anything they shouldn't have, call us immediately or one of the emergency clinics in town.
Leave no stone unturned: Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup to ensure their kidney and urinary health
Did you know 75% of your pet’s kidney function is gone before you see signs of serious illness? Which means your pet may have kidney disease and you may not even know it.
This month we want to focus on your pet’s kidney and urinary tract health because this is an area of veterinary medicine (and human medicine too) where preventive healthcare can make a big difference! A routine blood and urine test can clue us into the status of your pet’s kidney and urinary system. It’s that simple.
When we talk about chronic kidney disease, it’s a very common disorder in cats, especially those that are older than age 5. Renal (kidney) insufficiency or renal failure occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to do their appointed job--to remove waste products from the blood.
Renal failure is not the same as not being able to produce urine. In fact, most cats with renal failure make lots of urine in an attempt to remove the waste products that collect in the blood. The kidneys are failing but the cat makes a huge volume of urine... this can be confusing to pet owners!
Let’s switch gears and talk about urinary stones. Dogs or cats with very small stones in the urinary system do not usually have any signs. They look and act the same as usual. However, if these stones become larger, and are not detected and monitored, they can move into other areas of the urinary system that may cause obstruction. Obstruction is an emergency that puts your pet’s health at serious risk.
The best way to keep your pet’s kidney and urinary tract health in tiptop shape is through preventive healthcare. Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup today so we can examine your pet from nose to tail, run any tests if needed and discuss all the concerns you may have.
We care about your pet so call us today. We promise, we will leave no stone unturned.
Pets at more risk from passive smoking than humans, find scientists. Pets living in households where someone smokes are at greater risk of health problems, study finds. Another great reason to keep your New Year's Resolution to quit this year! Read the article here _
Cathy-Licensed Vet tech with 28 year experience.