Associated Veterinary Specialists - Advanced Veterinary Care - St. Louis, MO
AVS Veterinary News

Bailey and the Carefree Koolerz Gum

Bailey is a neutered male, 7 year old Dachshund weighing 10 pounds. Bailey is a bit of a rebel who thinks rules do not apply to him. He also has an insatiable sweet tooth. He does not read package labels and refuses to keep up with healthcare information that might apply to him. A week and a half before he came to us, he raided his owners stash of M&Ms and ate about a half pound. This made him terribly sick but he recovered. A few days later he felt so good that he broke into his owner’s purse, chewed through two zippers and consumed a pack of Carefree Koolerz gum. He failed to realize that the xylitol the gum contained could be very toxic to dogs. Bailey was first presented to the emergency clinic for vomiting where elevated liver enzymes and bilirubin were found. He was treated with aggressive supportive care and transferred to us the next day. On physical exam, he was lethargic and icteric. His ALT was 17541, the SAP was 716 and the bilirubin was 8.6. The platelet count was 142,000 with marked prolongations of the OSPT, APTT and a strongly positive D-dimer. A diagnosis of acute hepatic necrosis with secondary DIC due to hepatotoxin ingestion (xylitol) was made. Bailey was treated with fluids, heparin, vitamin K, sucralfate, famotidine, enrofloxacin, lactulose and lots of TLC. He gradually recovered after several days of hospitalization. According to poison control, very few dogs recover from a xylitol ingestion so we considered Bailey very lucky. A follow up liver evaluation from his family DVM showed normal liver enzymes and bile acids. Warn your clients to keep their pets away from sugarless gums containing xylitol. (P.S., I won’t let my wife chew it anymore either!)