Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs

Many people know about common things that are toxic to dogs such as chocolate and raisins, but fewer know about the dangers of xylitol ingestion in dogs. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is being put in more and more products, and can pose a fatal threat to your dog.

The two major effects of xylitol in dogs are hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver toxicity. Low blood sugar might not sound like a true emergency, but it can lead to weakness, disorientation, and seizures. The blood sugar becomes low because the dog’s body reacts to xylitol like it would for a real sugar, by releasing insulin. When there is only xylitol in the system, rather than real sugar, insulin will lower the blood sugar to dangerous levels. The second effect is on the liver. It is not fully understood how, but xylitol can cause liver tissue to die. This often happens about 8-12 hours after exposure to xylitol. There are many different symptoms of liver failure, some of which are vomiting and diarrhea, disorientation, lethargy, bleeding disorders, and even death.

If your pet has had an exposure to a product containing xylitol it is important to bring them to your veterinarian for immediate treatment. The veterinarian will begin by making them vomit to try and minimize the absorption of xylitol. Continued medical monitoring is very important, to make sure the blood glucose is acceptable, and to treat it as needed with IV fluids containing sugar. Blood work should also be run to assess the liver, and if there are changes in liver numbers, supportive care may need to be given including hospitalization on IV fluids and medications.

The toxic amount in dogs is somewhere between 0.074 – 0.1 grams per kg of body weight. In one stick of gum there can be anywhere from 0.009 g – 0.3 grams, so far a small dog, even eating just one piece of gum can be life threatening.

Since it can be such a severe toxicity, it is important to read the labels on all products, as more and more products contain xylitol. Here is a list of some of the most common household products that can contain xylitol.

  • Sugar-free gum, mints, and candies
  • Packaged goods/baking mixes (jell-o, pudding, cake/cookie premixes, some ice cream and yogurt)
  • Jams, syrups, condiments
  • Flavoured drink powders
  • Sugar free/low sugar chocolate
  • Peanut butter and nut butter
  • Dental products (tooth paste, mouth wash, etc.)
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Cosmetics
  • Athletic Clothing
  • Diapers

If you think your dog has consumed something with xylitol, please contact your local vet immediately so they can begin treatment as soon as possible.

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How to help injured and orphaned wild animals

Below are a few suggestions should you come across injured or orphaned wildlife.  First, you need to determine if the wild animal is indeed injured or abandoned without putting yourself in harm’s way. Try not to have too much contact with the animal or to disturb the surroundings. If you are unsure, it is best that you leave it be and call a wildlife specialist to notify them about the animal and its location. Certain animals like rabbits and deer often leave their young alone for long periods throughout the day. If it appears healthy and well, do not disturb the animal. 

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Last updated: June 26, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 11, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CONTINUE TO SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

Note: Priority will be given to urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations.

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday - Thursday: 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
Friday: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

5. PET BOARDING & GROOMING

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Centennial Animal Hospital