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Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year. The vast majority of them are crossbred or mixed breed. Each year, approximately 670,000 dogs are euthanized. When you bring a mixed breed or mutt into your home you may well be saving a life.

So What Makes a Mutt a Mutt?

GENETICS:

The genetic makeup of a dog is determined by its parents, for instance:

  • Purebred dogs have parents that are both of the same breed. For example, the father is pure poodle, and the mother is pure poodle.
  • Crossbred dogs have parents that are purebred, but they are of different breeds. For example, if the father is pure Labrador, and the mother is pure poodle, the puppies will be a cross between the two, a Labrador/Poodle.
  • Crossbred dogs can also have one parent that is purebred and the other that is crossbred. For example, if the father is a cross between a Labrador and Poodle and the mother is a purebred poodle, the puppies are still a cross of just two breeds, Labrador/poodle, and are still considered crossbred.
  • Mixed breed dogs, or mutts, have more than 2 breeds in their genetic make-up, sometimes even more than 3 or 4! For example, if the father is a cross between a Labrador and poodle and the mother is a German shepherd, the puppies have more than two breeds in their makeup (Labrador/Poodle/German Shepherd) and are considered mixed breed

CHARACTERISTICS OF MUTTS:

Knowing for certain how a mixed breed pup will act as an adult can be difficult to determine while most purebred animals exhibit the personality and physical characteristics true to their breed, some of these dogs don’t. Even when the parents are known, it can be difficult to tell which genes and traits they will pass on to their offspring.

TEMPERAMENT AND BEHAVIOR:

The temperament and behavior of mutts tends to be less of an extreme than in a purebred animal. Out of preference to retain the qualities of the pure line, breeding purebred animals often produces puppies that have specific temperaments and behaviors. Certain traits define a dog’s breed, for example:

  • Border collies are herding dogs, and they tend to be very focused and energetic.
  • Certain hounds are hunting dogs that may have a strong prey drive, and chasing or digging instincts.

While a mutt may not be the best choice if the animal is wanted to perform a specific behavior that is often used to identify a breed, they tend to be more flexible when in settings and situations that requires them to adjust to change and to fit in with the lifestyles of their humans.

HOW CAN I DETERMINE A DOG’S BREED?

This is a question commonly asked by clients. There are a lot of possible breeds to choose from, and many have similar characteristics. Unless the parents are known, it is almost impossible to be absolutely certain of the breed combination of a mutt just by looking at the dog. However, there is a way to find out!

There are many companies that will test the DNA of a dog in order to determine why it looks and acts the way it does! The procedure only requires a few steps:

  • Order a kit
  • Once it arrives, using the kit’s cotton swabs, rub them on the inside of the animal’s cheek to capture the animal’s saliva, which contains its DNA
  • Seal the swabs appropriately in kit materials
  • Return the swabs to the company for testing
  • Within a short period of time, the results will be returned and the lineage of the animal will be uncovered!

The procedure is quite simple, and the results can be very interesting! You can purchase several different brands of Pet DNA test kits. We offer the Embark DNA Test kit, it is the most accurate and comprehensive test.  Click here to learn more about this test: https://vetapprovedrx.pharmacy/embark-the-most-accurate-and-comprehensive-dog-dna-test-kit.html

While genetics do play a part in what a dog will be like as it grows up, remember that the role you play in your pet’s life is just as important. Caring for your pet’s needs, training and providing it with attention will help any pet become a welcomed and wanted member of a family!

To your pet’s good health,

Dr. Barry


Sources:

https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics

http://www.petmd.com/dog/puppycenter/adoption/evr_dg_mixed_or_purebred_puppy_which_is_better

https://www.henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2017/05/31/safety-tips-for-taking-a-pup-to-the-dog-park

https://henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2017/05/22/talking-to-clients-about-adopting-a-senior-pet

https://www.henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2017/05/10/points-to-consider-when-choosing-a-veterinarian

 

Jul 27, 2017 4:17:46 PM By Barry Miller general information mutt dna, General Information,

Boredom Busters and Play Safety Tips for Dogs

Playing with your pet, both old and young, is a great way to fight boredom and exercise their bodies and brains.  It’s a time that you can introduce them to different situations, sounds, and textures that they may not be used to.  In puppies and kittens, playtime is a great time to develop muscles, coordination, and trust.  And in seniors, it’s an excellent way to keep their brain active and alert.

Tips for successful play time:

  • Make sure the environment is free of distractions and supports your pet paying attention to commands so they can successfully complete the task
  • Make commands simple and achievable, building up to harder activities
  • Encourage and Praise. Do not scold during play unless your pet is doing an undesirable behavior like biting, or going to the bathroom on the floor, etc.
  • Take breaks
  • Use toys and treats as motivation and attention grabbers

Here are a few ideas for brain games that you can play with your dog.

1. Box of Fun

If you have a large box on hand, place blankets or pet bedding inside the box. Show a toy or treat to your pet, then hide the treats or toy inside the box underneath the blankets or bedding.  Your pet will enjoy the challenge of trying to find their toy or treat in this game of hide and seek. Praise your dog when they find the toy.

2. Scoring a Point

At some point in a dog or cat’s life they will be in a crate or kennel whether in your home or at a boarding facility. It can be a helpful step to learn to create a positive and playful association with their crate.  When your pet is in a happy mood bring the crate in to the play environment and leave the door open.  An open door on a crate makes a great “net” for scoring a goal.  In this game, start by picking a toy that will be kept in your pet’s kennel. Create interest in the toy or treat and play a game of fetch with it, but always have the toy land inside the crate, “scoring a goal”. Your dog will have to go inside the crate and come out. By doing this repeatedly they will begin to associate their kennel with fun, that going inside is not permanent, and it’s safe.  Additionally, making use of toys, like Kongs that allow you to place peanut butter or treats inside the toy, can help your pet learn to stay longer in the crate. You can also play a similar game of hide and seek with bedding and a reward as mentioned above in #1. 

3. Spin-Spin

Learning to spin on cue is a simple game that most puppies will pick up quickly.  This can have the added benefit of training them to spin on a towel to dry their feet when they come in from outside.  To begin this brain challenge, hold a treat in front of your puppy and make sure that they are aware it’s there. Very slowly move your hand around their side, either right or left, so that they begin to turn to follow the treat, and praise them as they move.  Continue until your puppy has moved in a complete circle, and then give the puppy the treat and praise them. If your puppy loses the scent of the treat before they complete the circle, simply begin again and move a little slower until they can build up to a complete circle.  Add your cue word at the beginning of the game such as “Spin Spin”. To add an extra challenge, you can play this going in the opposite direction.

4. Search and Rescue

For this game you will need several containers to hide a treat under; for example, flower pots, or Tupperware containers, etc. With this game your pet will learn the importance of paying attention.

Ask your puppy to sit and stay, or have a family member sit on the floor and hold them. Place three containers a short distance away, show your pet the treat or toy, and then place it under one of the containers. Pause, waiting for your pet to look directly at you, and then point to the container under which you’ve placed the treat just as the pet is released to search for it. Repeat the game, switching which container the treat is placed under. You can introduce your verbal cue when it’s time to search such as, “Go find it”. Praise your pet when they find it.

5. Make mealtime a game

Food maze bowls offer your speedy eaters and bored pets a chance to play a mind challenging game while eating their meal. As the food is placed in the maze bowl, it requires the dog to think, lick, and move the kibble to get the food out, providing a fun, challenging activity for dogs at feeding time.  This can be done inside or outside. You can buy these bowls here:

http://vetapprovedrx.pharmacy/dog/dog-food-treats/dog-food-bowls-drinking-fountains/buster-dog-maze-bowl.html

6. Go to a Dog Park

A dog park can be a wonderful place for a dog! The open area not only offers the chance to get rid of some of that pent-up energy, but it can also help to improve a pup’s social skills.

Safety is important when bringing any size or age animal to a dog park, especially if the park is to be enjoyed by animals off-leash. Look around for the following:

  • Posted rules of conduct
  • Secure fencing
  • Double-gated entry
  • Separate play areas for both large and small dogs
  • Trash cans and poop-bag dispensers
  • Clean grounds that are free of tall grass, weeds, trash, and dog waste
  • Sheltered areas
  • Water fountains that are working, clean, and dog-friendly
  • Number of dogs within the park area and behavioral characteristics of the animals
  • Dog owner attentiveness to activities and animal behaviors from within the park area.

A word about treats as a reward for play:

#1.  A general rule of thumb is treats should not account for more than 10% of your kitten’s or puppies’ calories a day, so it’s important to offer treats that are low in calories, since training often leads to multiple treats a day. Also, the calories in treats can make your puppy less hungry for their well-balanced nutrition offered at meal time.
#2.  As the veterinarian at VetApprovedRx, I recommend treats that offer well-balanced nutrition with very few ingredients and no fillers, treats that might more closely resemble a high-quality puppy food. I feel confident that all of the treats we offer are safe and healthy for your dog or cat of any age.

A low calorie treat made from real chicken is Lean Treats, and you can purchase these here:

http://vetapprovedrx.pharmacy/lean-treats-for-dogs.html

A word about toys:

It’s best to purchase toys that are durable and made of material that is not toxic, that don’t have multiple tiny parts that can be chewed off and become choke hazards. There are many toys on the market that are made specifically for dogs and cats and are safe to use during play time.

A word of caution on older pets and puppies:

There are many positive implications of playing games with your pet; however, I advise some caution with senior pets and puppies and games that require them to jump from high surfaces, or require repeated impact on joints.

For senior pets, these games can cause pain and damage to already stressed limbs and joints. While your puppy is growing, their “growth plates” at the ends of their bones are soft, and harden once they are done growing. This growth plate area can be susceptible to damage through excessive impact. For both senior dogs and young puppies, hard exercise is not advised. There are a wide variety of games that will challenge your pet with varying degrees of difficulty. I recommend doing some research on brain stimulating games for your pet. Again, the more positive use of your pet’s energy, the less time they may spend on negative behaviors.

 

To Your Pet’s Good Health and Fun!

Dr. Barry

Sources:

Brain Games for Puppies, Claire Arrowsmith. 2014. Firefly Books, New York.

Train Your Puppy Right. The American Kennel Club. 2012. Bow Tie Press. Irvine, California.

http://www.dogingtonpost.com/dog-park-dangers-how-to-avoid-them/

https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/training/you-go-dog-park

 

 

 

 

Jul 19, 2017 1:04:02 PM By Barry Miller boredom play safety, Behavior,

Simple Fire Safety Tips for your Pets.

When firefighters respond to a house fire, they know to look for occupants, both human and animal. While their priorities are people first, then animals, then property, responders understand how important pets are to families, and they will do what they can to safely ensure the animals are rescued

FIRE SAFETY STEPS THAT COULD SAVE YOUR PET

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of losing a pet to fire

  • Pet Rescue Fire Safety Stickers. These stickers are intended to be a tool to alert firefighters to the presence of pets within the home. It is very important to keep sticker information current; otherwise, valuable life-saving time may be wasted, or pets may be overlooked Stickers do the following:
  1. Identify the number of and types of pets
  2. Identify where the pets may be found when confined or if hiding
  • Train animals to come when called
  • Keep collars on pets and provide leashes by the door so pets can be safely removed from the building
  • If possible provide animals with a means to leave the building, such as a pet door that opens to the back yard
  • If animals have to be confined by a gate or pet crate, place them in an area or room near the entrance where they can be easily found
  • Install monitored smoke detectors that automatically notify fire department if a fire breaks out and you are away.
  • Include your pets in your family’s fire escape plan

Household fires not only cause loss of property, but every year, these fires take the lives of beloved family pets.  By following these simple steps you will reduce the risk of losing your pet to a fire.

To your pet’s good health,

Dr. Barry

Sources:

https://www.henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2017/05/10/points-to-consider-when-choosing-a-veterinarian

Jul 15, 2017 7:27:12 AM By Barry Miller fire pet safety, General Information,

Imagine This…

An adorable blond cocker spaniel

That's fairly easy.

But not just any cocker paniel

An adorable blond cocker spaniel that loved going to the veterinarian…

Now that's a little harder to imagine.

I just happened to know this cocker spaniel who's name was Smiley. He is no longer with us, but because of his overwhelming love for coming to my vet clinic I have not forgotten him.

It was always hard not to stop and stare when he came in for an appointment.

Once inside his owner would let go of his leash. He would proceed to the reception desk and bounce on the gate leading to the back. Once successfully behind the gate he would find an open cage and get in or he would wait until one of the staff would open the cage door for him. He really seemed to enjoy this, and he did it every time he came to the clinic which was often because he was groomed regularly.

Smiley had associated going to the veterinarian as a positive experience.

Most pet parents will agree, this is not typical for pets visiting their vet office.

Maintaining regular veterinary appointments are important to our pet’s overall health and well-being. While many pets handle these visits just fine, others struggle to enjoy them. Some pets learn to associate their time spent in the veterinary clinic with feelings of pain, discomfort, and unease. 

Is it possible to make vet visits more enjoyable for your pet?

Yes, it is. Here are a few things that you can do to make visiting the vet more enjoyable for you and your pet.:

#1. Choose the right vet clinic.

Overstimulation can become a problem when a pet enters the veterinary clinic. In order to reduce the stress level of a pet  brought about by new sights, sounds, lights, and scents, chose a vet clinic that includes these options:

·        Dog and cat only examination rooms

·        Cat-only appointment hours

·        Minimal amount of waiting for appointment times

·        Quiet environment when waiting for appointment

#2. What you can do to help:

·       Hunger motivates

o   As long as medically appropriate, you can withhold your pet’s food for several hours before the appointment time, please note I am only suggesting several hours before the appointment.

o   Animals that are a little hungry are usually more food-motivated and may better respond to the fear-free techniques. Offer treats when your pet behaves calmly on the way to the vet office, during the exam or around the staff members.

·       The Pet Carrier

o   If your pet only sees the carrier when it is time for a change in their comfortable lifestyle, it will learn to associate the carrier with stress

o   You can remove this negative reaction by using the carrier in ways that enable your pet to associate it with comfort

o   For example, you can use the carrier as a special place to:

·       Feed treats

·       Play with toys, keepa toy they just for when they are in their carrier

·       Offer a comfortable spot to rest

·       Provide a relaxing and calming atmosphere by spraying with soothing  pheromones

·       Create an environment of Calm

o   If your pet likes an item that soothes them, bring it along to the appointment

o   For example, if your pet responds appropriately to the use of a Thundershirt at home, there is a good chance that it will be helpful to the pet during the vet visit

o   If your pet has a prescription that helps to calm and comfort it, bring this medication to the appointment and ask your veterinarian how this medication can help during office visits. Please see #3. For more information about this topic.

o   Keep your pet in their carrier while in the waiting room. Sometimes our first instinct is to take them out and offer comfort while holding them. But for your pet this may make the environment more intimidating if the waiting room is full of other pets and unfamiliar noises and smells.

·       Familiarity breeds Reassurance

o   Pets that have learned to associate the vet clinic with negative feelings can be helped by being brought to the clinic between appointments for a pet and a treat. Many clinics offer free treats to their patients. Stop by with your pet and pick one up just for the fun of it.

Incorporating techniques that lower the amount of stress on an animal during an examination or medical procedure often will reduce the amount of restraint needed.

·       Exercise or Play with your Pet before the appointment

o   If your pet has been sleeping  or resting in a quiet environment all day and their first stimulation is a car ride and exposure to many new sites and sounds at the vet office, they may go into super stimulation mode.

o   Take them for a walk or play with your pet to ease them into changing the pace of their day. This has the added benefit of your pet maybe being a little tired and ready for some rest during the trip and at the vet’s office.

#3. Talk to your Veterinarian and don’t be afraid to use anti anxiety and calming products

If a pet remains unable to relax using the above techniques, products to reduce the stress can be determined for use by your veterinarian. Some of the items can be given before the appointment, some at the start of the appointment. For example:

·        Anxiety medications, Clomicalm, Acepromazine, Fluoxetine or Trazadone

·        Natural products, Stress Away, Adaptil Spray (dog) or Feliway Spray(cat), or  Zylkene,

Veterinarians and their staff are here to help make each office visit a positive one for you and your pet.  If your pet is a handful going for his annual check up, talk to your veterinarian in advance about ways that they can help you and your pet have the best possible experience.

To your Pet’s good health,

 Dr. Barry

Information gathered from:
http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/5-ways-get-started-with-fear-free-veterinary-practice?rel=canonical

 

Jun 29, 2017 2:09:19 PM By Barry Miller stress free veterinary visits, Behavior,
Today is International Hug Your Cat Day. No matter what language you speak all cats speak pretty much the same language. While each cat has its own individual disposition and temperament, when it comes to body language, all cats communicate in essentially the same way! When you know what to look for, learning to interpret their message is not that difficult! As you become familiar with cat body language you will find a deeper bond develop between you and your cat. Lets start with a Test: if you want to show your cat that you trust them and you are non threatening slowly squint yours eyes and keep them half closed and don’t be surprised if they reciprocate. Staring at a cat can be interpreted by your cat as threatening.Read More
May 30, 2017 12:58:57 PM By Barry Miller cat, behavior, body language, Behavior,

The answer is Yes!

If you didn't know that answer please know you are not alone.

Novartis Animal Health, conducted research that found over half of pet owners aren't aware their pets can also spend the spring season feeling miserable thanks to pollens and other environmental allergens.

If you have ever experienced seasonal allergies you wouldn't wish it on any one, especially your pet!

Unfortunately changing seasons will often cause allergies to flare up and for some dogs, this also means the start of feeling absolutely miserable.

Seasonal allergies in dogs are referred to as Canine Atopic Dermatitis, or Canine Atopy, and make up one of the most common allergic skin diseases, second only to flea allergy dermatitis. This chronic skin disease is associated with an inflammatory allergic reaction that can be extremely uncomfortable to a dog and also alarming to its owner. It must be so frustrating for them, as a pet, to not be able to tell you.

"What happened to my dog's skin and why won't they stop itching?"

Canine Atopic Dermatitis occurs when allergens are absorbed, inhaled, or ingested through the dog’s skin. Once this happens, the immune system produces an antibody that releases chemicals that cause the skin to become inflamed and itchy.

COMMON ALLERGEN SOURCES

  • Animal dander
  • Airborne pollens from grasses, weeds, trees, flowers
  • Mold spores
  • Dust mites

Since your pet is unable to tell you that they feel miserable and ask for some medicine. You will have to notice their behavioral changes and signs that they may be suffering from Atopic Dermatitis.

BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS OF CANINE ATOPIC DERMATITIS

Extreme itchiness, rubbing, scratching and licking of sides, belly, groin, elbows. Watery runny eyes, scratching at and rubbing ears and face against furniture, carpet, and ground. Biting at the base of their tail. Licking and chewing feet and pads. Snoring due to a swollen throat and sneezing. These signs can lead to these symptoms

  1. Skin: Reddened, possibly with crusts or scales, odor
  2. Haircoat: Bald spots, brown discoloration from licking
  3. Ears: Waxy discharge, redness, odor
  4. Face: Reddened with hair loss on muzzle, chin, and areas around eyes
  5. Feet: Inflammation, redness, odor, brown discoloration from licking
  6. Secondary skin infections caused as the result of chewing and scratching
  7. Hair loss due to scratching and rubbing

 Do all Dog's suffer from seasonal allergies?

I have seen every type of dog experience some sort of allergy including seasonal allergies, so my answer would be any dog breed can develop allergies at any time during his life. But allergic reactions seem to be especially common in Terriers, Setters, Retrievers, and flat-faced (brachio cephalic) breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston terriers.

Common Treatments for Canine Atopic Dermatitis

As the saying goes  "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

I recommend  weekly bathing to help relieve itching and remove environmental allergens and pollens from your dog’s skin. Discuss with your vet what prescription shampoos are best, as frequent bathing with the wrong product can dry out skin.  I recommend these products :Aloe and Oatmeal shampoo and conditioner,  AntiSeptic KC Shampoo, Malaseb shampoo and KetoHex Shampoo. These products may help prevent skin infection, which occurs commonly in dogs with allergies. Sprays containing oatmeal, aloe and other natural products are also available and can be helpful. 

Fatty acid supplements might help relieve your dog’s itchy skin. Such as Omega Tri V and Triglyceride Omega.

In the case of airborne allergens, your dog may benefit from Allergy Shots (Depomedrol). These will help your pet develop resistance to the offending agent, instead of just masking the itch.

On the other hand in some cases, no amount of bathing, supplements and allergy shots will cure your pet's atopic dermatitis. In these instances Veterinarian's usually recommend.

  1. Corticosteroids like Prednisone, 
  2. Anti Histamines, Hydroxyzine, chlorpheniramine and Benadryl, ask your veterinarian first
  3. Allergy testing and immunotherapy
  4. I have had great success with Apoquel and Atopica 

Why it is important to treat Atopic Dermatitis ASAP?

I know I have suffered through allergy season without really treating my symptoms, especially consistently taking allergy medicine. But here is why you should treat your dog's allergies.

Allergies in your pets can lead to skin infections, hair loss, lick granulomas and Bronchitis.

Hot Spots can develop in dogs (hot spots are rarely seen in cats). A hot spot is inflamed, infected skin that occurs when your dog's natural bacteria overwhelms an area of his skin. Typically the skin will be very red, and often there is bleeding and hair loss.

Chronic exposure to inhaled irritants (including cigarette smoke) may be a cause of bronchitis in your pet. Bronchitis is characterized by a persistent cough due to inflammation of the airway and excessive mucus production. Treatment may include medication to open breathing passages, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents.  Treating these can be expensive.

 As soon as you realize your pet may be suffering from allergies see your Veterinarian for a check up.  The more your pet is exposed to the allergens he's sensitive to, the more intense and long-lasting his allergic response becomes. I have seen seasonal allergies turn into year long allergies. By treating your pet's allergies early (as early as 6 months old) you reduce the risk that your pet 's immune system produces these allergy fighting antibodies for a more prolonged time. Plus your pet will feel so much better and thank you.

To your Pet's good health,

 

Dr. Barry

 

Resources:

Henry Schein Health

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/allergies-dogs#1

May 15, 2017 11:53:22 AM By Barry Miller DVM allergies, itching, scratching, dogs, cats, Allergy,
Happy National Pet Week. May 7-May 13 During this special week, we are reminded to cherish the human-animal bond and to recognize our part in responsible pet ownership. As Pet Parents we can live out these values by following the action outlined by National Pet Week's theme this year, "Lifetime of Love—The Basics: Seven Days to a Happier, Healthier Pet." The American Veterinary Medical Association invites all Pet Parents or Pet Lovers to follow the action dedicated to the next 7 days that are vital to achieving a Lifetime of Love.Read More
May 5, 2017 11:41:00 AM By Barry Miller national pet week love pets, General Information,

“And there it was, that lump in my throat…

Everyone once in a while the Human Animal Bond is palpable.

I feel it even after 17 years of Small Animal Medicine.”

A few weeks ago, my next client appeared around the corner of the treatment room, he was a clean cut older gentle man. He reminded me of someone from the 40’s, well slicked back hair, white t shirt, belt and blue jeans.  He laid his dog on the table. I examined the dog that was showing multiple signs of a dog that was well past his prime.  After further examination I regrettably determined that his dog had advanced stages of cancer and that it appeared to have spread to multiple areas of his body.

And there it was that lump in my throat as I looked at this gentleman loving look at his dog and say.

 “Well, it was you and me for a long time and now it’s just going to be me”.

 I could feel the love and companionship this dog had offered his owner, they were a team.  

Read More
Apr 27, 2017 9:21:00 AM By Barry Miller benefits, pets, children, autism, Behavior,

Poison Prevention Week: Dogs

Xylitol: Safe for People, Deadly to Dogs

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar-alcohol found in many types of fruits and vegetables and used as a sugar substitute in many common products. Appealing to dieters because of its sweet taste and small amount of calories, Xylitol is also widely used by diabetics who must monitor their sugar intake. While it has been determined to be a safe product for human consumption, Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, for a ten pound dog, ingesting one piece of gum may be all it takes for the animal to suffer from hypoglycemia.

Xylitol Dangers for Dogs

Toxicity

In both dogs and humans, the pancreas controls the level of blood sugar through the release of insulin. When Xylitol is ingested by humans there is only a small release of insulin. 
However, when Xylitol is ingested by a dog:

  • The substance is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, which stimulates the pancreas to rapidly release insulin
  • Shortly after ingestion, the animal will experience hypoglycemia, a sudden decrease in its blood sugar level
  • Without the proper veterinary treatment, hypoglycemia can be life-threatening

 

Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning

Signs of Xylitol toxicity develop rapidly, sometimes within 15 to 30 minutes following ingestion, but are usually evident within 1 to 2 hours. In some pets, toxicity may not show for up to 12 hours. Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Incoordination
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Liver failure

What to Do If Your Pet Ingests Xylitol

  • Contact their veterinarian immediately
  • Have product label of item ingested when they phone for help, if possible
  • Do not take steps unless directed by a veterinarian

Prompt veterinary care is essential in order to help an animal that has ingested Xylitol.  You may also

call the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) 

Do you have Products in your house with Xylitol?

Xylitol is found naturally in small amounts in many fruits, vegetables, and some trees, for example:

  • Raspberries
  • Plums
  • Corn
  • Birch wood  

As manufactured and used as an added ingredient, Xylitol is commonly found in many types of products, for example:

  • Medications:
    • Vitamins
    • Fiber supplements
    • Nasal sprays
    • Cough syrup
    • Throat lozenges
    • Sleep aids
    • Nicotine gum
    • Certain prescription drugs
  • Dental health products:
    • Toothpaste
    • Dental floss
    • Dry mouth sprays
    • Mouthwash
  • Food:
    • Sugar replacement to sweeten beverages, add to cereals and baked goods
    • Instant coffee
    • Ketchup
    • Pancake syrup
    • Peanut butter
    • Pudding
    • Ice cream
    • Drink powder
    • BBQ sauce
    • Chewing gum
    • Candy
    • Jam
    • Chocolates
    • Sugar free mints

Xylitol is even found in small amounts in some veterinary pet products, such as in some toothpastes and mouthwashes. When a veterinary product is found to contain Xylitol, it is important to follow the prescribed dose and to keep the product our of your pet’s reach to avoid potential poisoning

Steps to Prevent Xylitol Poisoning

1.Check the product labels of items being brought into your home, watching for alternative names on the product list, including:

  • Birch sugar
  • E967
  • Meso-Xylitol
  • Xilitol
  • Xylit
  • Xylite
  • Xylo-pentane-1,2,3,4,5-pentol

2.When products are found to have Xylitol as an ingredient, make sure that they are put away so pets can’t get to them.

3.When Xylitol ingestion is caught early and the pet receives veterinary treatment right away, the prognosis for outcome is better. However, since even a small quantity of Xylitol can be deadly, it is important to advise clients that if they suspect their pet has ingested even a tiny amount of Xylitol that they seek veterinary help immediately.

4. Make sure that your children know to store Sugar Free gum, candies and chocolates or other items that contain Xylitol out of reach of their pets.  I know in my household sometimes wrappers with small amounts of food are left in reach of a pet that would like a taste. As well, gum packages and chewed gum can be spat out and left for a dog to consume. If children know the danger that these items can impose on their pet they are more likely to keep them out of their pet's reach.

To Your Pet's Good Health,

Dr. Barry

Sources:

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm244076.htm

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/03/24/dangers-of-xylitol-for-pet-dogs.aspx

 

Mar 16, 2017 3:14:39 PM By Barry Miller poison, prevention, dogs, xylitol, General Information,

We love our puppies! However, every year large numbers of dogs end up out of the house or placed in shelters because of behavioral issues. 

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