Nelly is a lovely young Basset Hound who came to see vet Rachel at our Tredegar branch after eating some of her owner's chewing gum. Chewing gum contains the sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to animals. It causes the blood sugar to drop and in some cases can also cause liver damage. Nelly was given an injection straight away to make her sick and Rachel called the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) for specific advice on a treatment plan for Nelly. VPIS is a service used by vets for up to date information on managing cases of poisoning in animals.
Following this advice, Nelly was admitted to our Abergavenny surgery for supportive treatment and monitoring of her blood sugar. She was placed on a drip and blood was taken to check her liver values, which were normal. Nelly's blood sugar was checked every 1-2 hours in case she needed supplementing with intravenous glucose. She remained bright in herself throughout her stay and before long was ready to go home. Her liver values were re-checked a couple of days later and thankfully remained normal.
Chewing gum is not the only thing that can potentially harm animals; some examples of other foods include grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions and garlic. If you are concerned your pet has consumed any of the above (or aren't sure if what they've had is poisonous), please do give us a call.