NEW TOXIN WARNING FOR DOGS: XYLITOLA sugar-free sweetener called xylitol has recently been shown to be very toxic to dogs. Xylitol is present in many baked goods, desserts, toothpastes, other oral care products, and sugar-free gums and candies. It can also be purchased as granulated powder for baking. In 2005 there were 193 products sold in the US that contained xylitol. Doses as low as 0.6 grams per pound of body weight have caused severely low blood sugars and acute liver failure! That dose is equal to approximately 5 cookies, 1 muffin, or 5 pieces of gum containing xylitol in a 35 pound dog.
The dog usually becomes very lethargic approximately 30-60 minutes after ingestion due to life-threateningly low blood sugar levels. Then 9-27 hours later the dog may show signs of vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, bruising on gums and thin-skinned areas, and profuse bleeding. These later signs can be indicative of severe acute liver failure.Treatment is required immediately! If you know or suspect your dog has ingested a product containing xylitol, contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary facility as soon as possible. Expect at least an overnight stay, and possible multiple days of IV fluids and blood tests. Prevention is the key! Keep all potential xylitol-containing products in a secure place, out of the way of your curious and hungry furry friends.
THE IVERMECTIN HEARTWORM PREVENTITIVE STORY
Reprinted to SWCR website with permission from Dr. Cindi Bossart, DVM, Chairman of the Collie Club of American Health Committee, Director, Collie Health Foundation
There is a genetic syndrome in Collies that can be deadly, if not addressed. Some of our Collies do not have the proper transport system in the brain to move chemicals back and forth between the brain tissue and the blood that supports the brain tissue. These Collies are very susceptible to certain toxic drugs that enter the brain and cannot get back out. The dogs that do not have the proper transport system can become intoxicated, seizure and possibly die when exposed to certain drugs. Among the drugs that can affect our Collies are ivermectin and ivermectin sister drugs (the active ingredient in certain heartworm preventatives and ear medications, Imodium (anti-diarrheal medication), and a number of the drugs used for chemotherapy. Exposure to these drugs, in a large number of our Collies, can be fatal.
APPROXIMATELY 45% OF OUR COLLIES ARE CARRIERS OF THE AFFECTED GENES. These Collies may or may not react to thsoe drugs listed above. If they react, it is usually not as severe a reaction as the affected Collies; however, when two carriers are bred, they can produce affected, affected carriers, and unaffected non-carriers.
APPROXIMATELY 20% OF OUR COLLIES ARE NOT AFFECTED AND ARE NOT CARRIERS. There is now a genetic test available to determine if your Collie is affected, a carrier, or not affected. It is a simple cheek swab.
WHAT HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVE TO USE...
For years, there was only one type of heartworm preventative to use. It was the daily pill containing the active ingredient, diethlycarbamazinfe (DEC). This pill was changed from a not-so-exciting tablet to a chewable daily treat. It was marketed under several names, the most familiar of which was Filaribits.In the 1980's monthly heartworm pills hit the market. The first was Heartguard, which contains the active ingredient, Ivermectin. The next heartworm preventative to hit the shelves was Interceptor, again a monthly pill, containing the active ingredient, Milbemycin. The next product to hit the market was Revolution, a monthly topical preparation containing Selamectin. Revolution was applied in a liquid form between the shoulder blades. To make heartworm prevention even easier than once a month therapy, Fort Dodge put out ProHeart 6, an injectable medication given every six (6) months to prevent heartworm infection. Until recently, dogs that could not tolerate the monthly or semi-annual heartworm preventative, could always opt for the daily treatment - Filaribits. Now, Filaribits are off the market and, at present there is no replacement. I have changed all my dogs to Interceptor, since the number of Collies reacting to this long term preventative is less than with any other treatment.
Need more health information? We will be more than happy to get back to you on Collie Health Issues in a Collie heartbeat!
Email Arlene Starkey of Southwest Collie Rescue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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