Please read this if you have a dog

Please read this if you have a dog

I'm posting this here because I always see people talking about their dogs and I know a lot of you may be on diets etc.

My puppy Riff is in liver failure after accidentally eating a batch of biscuits which were made using a sugar substitute called Xylitol. It's harmless to humans and is becoming more common (you can find it in sugar free gum for example) because it is supposedly healthier. However it is extremely toxic to dogs even in small amounts.

Riff had a whole bag (250g) of the stuff but we had no clue that there would be a problem. He vomited within an hour so we assumed he had got all the biscuits out and didn't realise that this was the first symptom. Riff went untreated all night and the whole of the next morning - they need to be treated immediately.

He's stable at the moment but his chances are extremely small. So please please PLEASE be careful if you are using any diet products and check the label. And if your dog does manage to eat any just get them straight to the vets.

Sorry if it's inappropriate to post this here but I had never heard of anything like this and felt I had to warn you about the dangers.


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34 Replies

  • Thank you so much for this post. What a dreadful thing to experience and I had never heard of it, so I will be super aware now. It is good that he is stable at the moment; I will be thinking of you Kate x

  • Thank you x

  • Oh no, that is awful! Fingers crossed he pulls through, can't even imagine what you must be going through! :-( I'm quite aware of the xylitol dangers, apparently even a couple of chewing gums with the stuff in in can send a labrador sized dog into a coma, so I'm always very careful (not that I use much with it in it, but still....)

  • Thank you. I've got everything crossed for him :(

    I'd never heard of Xylitol. My sister is on a health kick which is why she bought it. The biscuits were disgusting and were left on the side to be thrown away and he must have somehow scooped them off the edge. There was 250g of the stuff in there. God I wish we'd known we would have rushed him straight to the vets :(

  • I've actually copied parts of your post and shared it on my dog's facebook page - just to remind everyone to be careful (already found at least one person who didn't know about it!). Hope you don't mind!

  • No not at all! The more people who know the better!

  • How terrible for you. I hope he starts showing an improvement very soon. It is frightening to think that something so toxic to dogs (and maybe other animals?) is readily available out there. Thank you for sharing this information. Thinking of you and Riff. x

  • Thank you x

  • So sorry to hear about Riff, I have my fingers crossed that all will be well. Thank you for the information, I own 2 dogs and had never heard of this before. Time to be extra vigilant especially when buying low calorie foods that they might end up discovering.

    Keep us posted please x

  • Thank you. We go back to sit with him again at 3 o'clock and we should have his latest blood results by then. It could be hours, days or even weeks before we know if he'll make it. I'll post if anything changes x

  • thanks for telling us, hope he is ok xxx

    I rarely buy anything with artificial sweeteners in, (keep sweetex in the cupboard for when my sister calls as she has one in her coffee), I find all "diet" food and drinks with artificial sweeteners etc in just disgusting, they have always made me feel thirsty and sick, here is another good reason to avoid them!

  • I agree wholeheartedly! There's also the potential for long term health probs. When my children were small I banned sugar free products along with hydrogenated fats. My feeling is that tooth decay is preferable to any number of possible health problems.

  • Thanks for posting. I have two dogs and many of my friends have dogs too. Haven't ever heard of this substance but will def le everyone know on my Facebook page.

    Thinking of you and Riff. Fingers crossed xxx

  • That's very shocking story Kate, will post your blog on forum as many on there could well eat similar products and not be aware of the terrible dangers to their pets, I would think cats could be just as badly effected.

    Will keep my fingers crossed that your puppy makes a full recovery.

  • I didn't know about this, thank you for sharing. I had no idea about this and will be (even more) careful in the future what my dog eats. Fingers crossed for Riff - I hope he recovers. Keep us posted *hugs*

  • I have taken the liberty of sending the link to your blog to the Editor of Dogs Today via Twitter. Thank you for posting and I hope that Riff pulls through. Virtual hugs to you both.

  • That's terrible, I hope Riff pulls through.

    I hope you don't mind but I'm going to copy your post to my facebook page as I have dieting friends with dogs who may not be aware of this.

  • So sorry to hear this and hope Riff recovers soon. I hadn't heard of this before and will take extra care with my dogs. It is shocking how things that we can eat can be toxic to dogs - grapes as an example, you just have to be so careful. Thank you for the warning.

  • Thanks for your messages guys it really means a lot. Just got back from sitting with him - he's managed to keep what little food he ate down which he hasn't been able to do for days and he seemed a little brighter. His blood tests are still very bad but at least they haven't gotten any worse. There's still a small hope for him so I'm clinging onto that with both hands.

    Please do spread the word however you can. I emailed the company about the lack of warning on the label and apparently they're not allowed to put the word 'dangerous' on it even though they want to.

    I'll keep you updated with what happens - I'll be going back tomorrow to sit with him again. Your messages mean so so much so thank you xxx

  • Lots of people on Elliot's (the dog) facebook page have read it and shared the post - he's got about 900 friends, so at least the message is getting out there! I was quite surprised how many didn't know about the dangers! One person had a similar experience to you, her dog ate a quarter of a teaspoon of toothpaste and was in Intensive Care for 3 days (and they knew about Xylitol and rushed her straight in), so it proves again how bad this stuff is if a dog gets hold of it. Everybody is keeping paws and fingers crossed and rooting for Riff to keep on fighting!

  • Thank you for taking the time to tell us about this risk at such a difficult time for you. I do hope he pulls through.

  • I lost my dog last February and I pray you do not have to get through this.

    Give him a big hug from me and please keep us posted on his progress.

    Come Riff you can make it ! Woof Woof !

  • So sorry to hear about your dog. I work for an animal rescue and feel terrible for you. I really hope your dog makes it through. Thinking of you. x

  • I'm so sorry to hear about your pup. I'm praying for you both hope he continues to be stable xx

  • Thanks a lot guys. We had a more positive conversation with the vet today - Riff is moving in the right direction. His bloods are showing signs of improvement and he is so much perkier and has his appetite back! He's not out of the woods yet but if we can get him through this first month then they think his liver may be able to heal itself :)

    Keeping my fingers crossed for him! Thank you so so much for all your messages x

  • Thanks for posting Kate1991, I've been thinking about you and Riff, been telling anyone who will listen about the dangers of this fake sugar stuff. Posted a link to facebook too.

    Still got my fingers and toes crossed for Riff, love your photo, he looks fab.

  • Glad he's feeling a bit better! Will carry on keeping everything crossed for him!

  • Woop! It looks like Riff will be ok! He's come home and his liver function test looked good. They'll repeat it next week just to be sure. I can't believe it - he is a little miracle! :)

    Thank you so so much for all of your messages - it meant a lot to me (and Riff) xxx

  • Great news. I've got my fingers crossed too. I've posted on the Basset pages on Facebook too and it is being shared.

  • so glad he's feeling better. fingers crossed for a full recovery

  • How is Riff?

  • Aw thank you for remembering! It looks as if he has made a full recovery which is completely amazing. Guide Dogs are going to monitor him anyway until the new year just to be on the safe side before he goes in for training though. I still can't believe it :)

  • Brilliant :) great news. I didn't realise he was a guide dog puppy! He looks great in your photo.

  • Thank you :)

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