Dog Eats Gum | What happens if my dog ​​eats gum?

Gum is an enjoyable treat for humans, but for dogs, it’s really dangerous if ingested.

What to do if your dog eats gum?

Dr. Tina Wismer, senior director of ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, indicating that if your pet is exposed to something potentially toxic, check the ingredient label on the product first. If the swallowed item contains xylitol and you notice any unusual behavior from your pet, go to your local veterinary clinic immediately.

She says: “The veterinarian will likely check your dog’s blood sugar and liver enzymes first to see if they are abnormal. “If your dog has low blood sugar, your vet can give a sugar source – dextrose – IV to get their sugar back up to avoid any serious complications. Always call your vet as soon as possible, as it is more helpful to prevent problems than to treat them.”

Why is xylitol toxic to dogs??

Many types of gum — especially those without sugar — contain the sweetener xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener commonly found in food products but can also be found in other consumer goods, like toothpaste.

Wismer said xylitol causes low blood sugar and liver damage in dogs. Although low blood sugar can happen very quickly — as soon as 30 minutes after taking it — it can take up to 12 hours for symptoms to appear after taking it.

Signs of low blood sugar in dogs include:

  • Weak
  • unstable
  • shake
  • Epilepsy – if it’s not treated

Signs of liver damage in dogs may include:

  • Reduce cravings
  • listless
  • Jaundice
  • vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Dr. Wismer says symptoms that indicate your dog has liver damage may not appear for two or three days after ingestion.

“The amount of xylitol in different products – even different flavored gum – can vary widely, so it is important to have information about the item ingested,” says Dr. , intake and knowing your pet’s weight are important.

Other concerns when dogs eat chewing gum

VCA Animal Hospitals regional technical director, Melissa Hulgreen, says it’s relatively common for dogs to ingest toxic substances — especially curious puppies. Melissa says that while chewing gum isn’t the #1 toxicity they’ve seen, most people have gum in their home, car, or personal bag, so there’s the potential for pets to be exposed. higher than less common ones like rat bait.

The potential risk of dogs eating gum is twofold, says Melissa. The lower risk is gastrointestinal obstruction.

She said: “Since chewing gum does not break down easily when ingested like most other foods, there is minimal risk of gastrointestinal obstruction depending on the size of the animal and the amount of gum digested. consume.

Signs of gastrointestinal obstruction in dogs include:

  • Vomiting (This often happens repeatedly, and pet parents often report that their pet is unable to hold anything, including water.)
  • Anorexia (Not wanting to eat at all.)
  • Lower blood pressure (Not eating as much as usual.)
  • listless
  • Abdominal discomfort (The pet is soft to the touch or lifted around the abdomen, does not want to lie down, and cannot get into a comfortable position.)

“It is important to remember that these are general clinical signs that can be seen in many different health conditions, not just gastrointestinal obstruction, so it is important to always seek medical advice from your doctor. vet if you’re concerned,” says Melissa.

But that’s usually not the main concern, and chances are the dog will swallow the gum with no problem. However, you should let your veterinarian know how much gum has been swallowed so he or she can assess the risk of a blockage.

What does the vet do after your dog eats gum?

When you first go to the vet, a triage technician will ask you a few questions, says Melissa.

  • How long ago did your dog eat gum?
  • How much was eaten?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your pet’s behavior since chewing gum?

“It is really helpful to carry the packaging of the product they have eaten – this can apply to any poison ingestion – as it will help the veterinary team to accurately distinguish your pet from the food they have eaten. what substance were you exposed to and in what dose,” says Melissa.

If your pet also eats the packaging, try to provide the brand name and type of gum.

“If there is a strong suspicion that your dog has ingested xylitol-containing gum, your veterinarian will likely recommend that they induce vomiting immediately to prevent further absorption of xylitol into your dog’s body. you,” Melissa said.

After your pet is initially stable, your veterinarian will discuss any other treatments or monitoring.

“This may include overnight hospitalization with IV fluids and sugar supplements, seizure monitoring, and hepatoprotective medication,” says Melissa.

If it is determined that your pet has ingested xylitol-free gum, your veterinarian will discuss the pros and cons of further treatment.

“At this point, the primary concern would be ingesting the foreign object and determining the possibility that your pet could transmit the said foreign object – undigested gum and any wrappers or packaging – without incident,” Melissa said.

Never induce vomiting at home after your dog eats gum

Pet parents should never induce vomiting at home or give any previously unprescribed medication unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian, Melissa says.

“When we induce vomiting in the clinic, it is done in a controlled environment with trained medical staff, usually with injections,” she says. “The most serious complication that can happen when we induce vomiting is aspiration — when pets inadvertently inhale certain stomach contents in the process. This can lead to serious complications like pneumonia and keep your pet in the hospital longer. The risk of aspiration can be increased when owners try to give anything by mouth at home because they cannot control the dose given and often struggle with the animal because of the unpleasant taste.”

How to keep pets safe from xylitol toxicity

When buying a new item, check the ingredients list for xylitol, says Dr. Wismer. If you have a pet that likes to get into furniture or a naughty new puppy, avoid bringing that particular item into your home.

“If you bring home products that contain xylitol, make sure to keep them in a safe place out of the reach of your feet,” she says. “Make sure to keep items like purses or backpacks off the floor, so nosy pets have less of a chance to learn what’s inside.”

But if your pet gets gum, consider it an emergency and call the vet right away.


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