So, I got home around 10:45 tonight and about an hour later notice some chewed up wrappers lying around the house. What did my dog Yeager get in to this time?
I tracked it down and it was some gum that was in my bag. No biggie I thought.
Then I decided to do a Google search and suddenly I find, “Orbit gum with Xylitol is deadly to dogs!” Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener that is highly dangerous to dogs. Apparently it can cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar and liver damage.
I go look at the chewed up wrappers — shit, it’s Orbit gum!
I rush over to the 24 hour Vet (there’s one five minutes from my house) and they examine him and we call ASPCA poison control. Carrie from Poison Control asks what flavor the gum was — all I knew was the wrapper was pink. Carrie starts grilling me. How many pieces did he get? I’ve not clue, but I know the package wasn’t full. She again asks about the flavor. I say the wrapper’s in a million pieces and I have no clue. She tells me the pink gum could be one of three flavors — Bubble Gum (unlikely), Strawberry Mint (maybe) and Melon Mint (most likely, but I’m not sure). If it’s Melon Mint, there’s a very small amount of Xylitol and Yeager should be fine, but if it’s Strawberry Mint it’s dangerous and he needs to be put on immediate fluids and his blood sugar needs to be checked regularly for the next 24 hours. She suggested I rush home, gather up as many pieces of the packaging as possible, compare them against packaging I can find at 7-11 and report back immediately.
Yeager and I hop in the car and head home. I rush up stairs and start looking for more pieces of the chewed up wrapper. I’m looking over every piece I have and a couple of minutes later I find gold — the flavor is Maui Melon Mint!
I call the vet and they say OK, you’re clear, but being the overly protective dog father I am, I call Carrie back at ASPCA poison control. I tell her the details, she says no worries let’s double check. Yup, I lucked out – Maui Melon Mint has a very small amount of Xylitol in it and Yeager should be fine. She suggests I feed Yeager extra fiber over the next 24 hours to help him digest the wrappers by giving him a piece of whole wheat bread in the morning and evening. There may be some diarrhea, but beyond that keep an eye on him and unless I notice anything weird he should be fine.
If you ever have a question about something your dog ate, the ASPCA Poison Control line is a fantastic resource. They can be reached at 888-299-2973 24 hours. If you live in the Los Angeles area and have an emergency with your animal, visit the Animal Emergency Center located in Studio City at 11730 Ventura Blvd. and is open 6:00 PM to 8:00 AM.
Thanks to Carrie as the ASPCA and the vets at the AEC. Now let’s see if I can actually get some sleep tonight.
Also — FUCK SUGAR FREE GUM.