It’s no question dogs will eat strange things — we have a yearly X-ray contest showcasing the odd things found in their stomachs. Dancer, a 1-year-old Labrador retriever, is no exception, but what she ate nearly killed her. She devoured roughly 25 pieces of sugar-free gum that contained xylitol.
Dancer’s owner Jeni Connor rushed her to Seville Veterinary Hospital in Gilbert, Ariz. She suffered a seizure on the way there, and the veterinarians at the hospital gave her a shot of glucose. Then she was transferred to the Emergency Animal Clinic, which is affiliated with BluePearl Veterinary Partners.
Dr. Raegan Wells, a board-certified in emergency and critical care, took over Dancer’s care. According to Blue Pearl, “Dancer’s blood glucose levels were monitored around the clock and that the dog received medicine for possible liver damage. Xylitol prompts dogs’ bodies to secrete too much insulin, which can cause their blood sugar levels drop dangerously.”
In 2015, there were more than 2,800 xylitol-related calls to the Pet Poison Helpline, compared to 300 calls in 2009, Blue Pearl reported.
While Dancer was recovering, Connor, with the help of her daughters Whitney, 9, and Haley, 11, posted a Facebook video warning other pet owners about Xylitol.
Since it was posted, the video has been viewed more than 35,000 times.
“We had really hoped that this video would reach lots of people, but did not imagine the kind of response it would get,” Connor told Blue Pearl.
After two days, Dancer was released from the Emergency Animal Clinic and got to go home. “Seeing her together with her family is pretty heartwarming – she’s got two little girls she loves and they love her back,” Connor said.
Connor couldn’t be more grateful to the veterinarians that saved her life. She’s equally grateful her video has gone viral too. She hopes to spread the message about the dangers of xylitol.
“This is what it's all about, keeping other dogs from harm and families from heartbreak,” she said.