Tuesday, June 17, 2014

If You Have a Dog Do NOT have Xylitol in Your Home!

Maverick is a Labrador Retriever. This translates to mean that he is a food freak! In turn this means that he has no discretion whatsoever. If it smells edible, he will eat it. As I posted earlier, I am doing the THM program in the hope that it will at least reduce the severity of my migraines. (That's another post.) I had been using xylitol as a sugar substitute and I knew (know) it is poisonous to dogs. He managed to get into some and within an hour was deathly ill.

It was the scariest three days of our lives. The nightmare began late Saturday afternoon. When he started with severe seizures. We got him to the vet as quickly as we could. Dr. K started treatments immediately as we knew exactly what he had gotten into. She kept him over night and the next day. He had numerous glucose IV's and lots of blood drawn. Sunday evening we got the all clear to pick him up. That night was pretty uneventful. He was a little sore from all the poking and prodding, but seemed okay. On Monday Peach was home for a P.D. Day, and Bub was off haying. All of a sudden around 11:00 am, he had another seizure. We rushed him back to the vet. She checked his liver and blood sugar levels again and everything seemed normal. Our vet clinic out here by our home, is associated with the one in the City. The one in the City is where we took him because they have emergency hours. In the afternoon, we took him to our local vet. There he was going to get a full liver function test done because xylitol poisoning can seriously damage the liver.  While he was there, he has another seizure. They gave him valium and phenobarbital. The valium turned him into a complete spaz. We had never seen him like that and it was VERY scary. At that point (and I really HATE to admit this) we were almost thinking of putting him down. Dr. T even hesitantly asked if that was what we might be thinking. We had to admit we were, but at the same token we didn't want to rush into anything. In the end we brought him home. Eventually he settled.

 Sad and frightened children. 

He's now on phenobarbital twice a day as Dr. T and his associates feel that Mavy was actually predisposed to epilepsy and somehow the xylitol became the trigger. I'm not an animal doctor, so I don't know what to say. It's been just over a week now and I am thankful to report that Maverick is still alive and doing well. The pb makes him draggy, but he tends to forget that. I have to watch him on the stairs and keep his little pug brother in check because they will get fooling around and poor Maverick will trip over himself. The pug caused him to have a good wipeout this evening, but thankfully no injuries -- just an "oof" sound from the big guy as he hit the ground. In another week or so, he should have his coordination back.

As for him learning his lesson, that didn't happen. He's a professional thief and counter surfer! We are being very diligent about keeping the counters food free, but if you even turn your back for a second.... HOWEVER there is no xylitol in our home!! I can't stress enough that if you have dogs, do NOT use xylitol! By the way, in small dogs, even a piece of gum sweetened with xylitol can be enough to kill them, so just don't have it in the house! I have learned my lesson. It was a very hard way to do it, but some of just have to learn the hard way. :o( We're thankful that he's still with us -- even if he is thief.

For a concise list of other foods that are toxic to dogs, check out the ASPCA website or the Web MD site. Our story has a happy ending, but they don't always do, so help us get the word out!


  1. Yikes! I'm so glad he's okay!

  2. Oh, how scary! Hope he gets back to normal/healthy!

  3. So glad he's doing better!! These animals...you never think you'll be so attached until you actually have one and then you find yourself doing anything to help them! Winnie sticks to bread on the counter only and any food our littlest might leave on his plate, but besides that, I'm thankful she's not too big of a counter-surfer. But my brother's dog (a black lab, no less!) is horrible about it, too. He got into lawn fertilizer and they thought for sure they'd lose him. Thankfully, the vet was able to stabilize him and he's fine...but still hasn't learned his lesson, either, as he still eats anything and everything. Labs!

  4. Scary!!!

    I will be careful, I was eating THM, but stopped when I got pregnant. I was planning on starting up again, but haven't yet. We have two dogs and one likes to eat people food that makes it to the compost pile.....

  5. I am so glad he is okay!! When our cat had a seizure it was one of the scariest things I've ever seen!!


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