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Warning About Xylitol and Dogs

Oregon Vet Ramps Up Campaign Warning About Xylitol and Dogs

An Oregon veterinarian is expanding efforts to get the word out that a sugar alcohol-derived sweetener used in an increasing number of foods poses a serious, and potentially fatal, threat to dogs.Warning About Xylitol and Dogs

Dr. Jason Nicholas of Portland (Preventive Vet) has posted a list of products containing xylitol, along with two online petitions seeking warning labels from manufacturers and related action from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Xylitol, which has about one-third the calories of regular sugar, is being used in an ever-expanding list of food and other products.

These products include five brands of peanut and other nut butters, four brands of chocolate, some “sugar-free” or “sugarless” ice creams and yogurts, chewable vitamins, “sugarless” gum, a long list of body, face and home care products, and many more.

Krush Nutrition has posted this warning about Xylitol and dogs on its site:

  • Xylitol and Dogs Xylitol which is a natural sugar alcohol, is safe in humans. We ask that you please keep all xylitol and xylitol containing food products out of reach from dogs. Even small amounts can be toxic to dogs. If you do however suspect your dog has ingested a xylitol-containing food, we suggest you immediately contact your local veterinarian. Read More

Dog Dental Procedure May Do More Harm than Good

This Trendy Dog Dental Procedure May Do More Harm than Good

By Dr. Becker
dvm360 October 1, 2011 dental procedures

Nonprofessional dental scaling (NPDS), also known as anesthesia-free dentistry, is gaining popularity with an increasing number of dog and cat owners.

These are well-meaning pet guardians who may be fearful of anesthesia or may not be able to afford professional veterinary dog or cat dental care.

They want to provide some form of dental care for their dog or cat, so they opt for NPDS.

However, anesthesia-free dentistry is essentially a cosmetic procedure that addresses only the parts of your pet’s teeth you can see.

The question many pet healthcare professionals are asking is whether NPDS dog dental procedures are doing more harm than good.

One of the biggest concerns many veterinarians have with just scraping teeth is that the mouth is full of blood vessels, which can launch oral bacteria into the bloodstream.

Once the bacteria is in the bloodstream it can infect other organs like the valves of the heart, resulting in a disease known as vegetative valvular endocarditis.

Read the American Veterinary Dental College’s (AVDC) position statement on dog dental scaling without anesthesia.

Why Anesthesia is Used for dog and cat Dental Procedures

The fact is, a truly thorough oral exam and cleaning can’t be accomplished on a pet who is awake.

Anesthesia has several benefits when it comes to caring for your pet’s mouth, including:

Immobilizing your dog or cat to insure his safety and cooperation during a dental procedure he doesn’t understand and is stressed about.
Allows for a thorough exam of all the surfaces inside the mouth and the taking of x-rays.
Allows for scaling below the gum line where periodontal disease is most active.
Pain management.

A dog or cat who isn’t sedated simply won’t tolerate a thorough dental inspection of his mouth. He’ll move around a lot, making the use of sharp instruments extra dangerous.

Cleaning below the gum line of a fully alert animal is something that should never be attempted.
Pets won’t stand for it because not only does the procedure cause tremendous stress, it’s also extremely painful.
And if tooth extractions are necessary, they are out of the question for un-anesthetized pets.

How Anesthesia-Free Dog Dental Procedures Might Do More Harm than Good

Non-professional dog dental scaling can potentially give pet owners a false sense of security about the state of their dog’s or cat’s oral health.

Even though your pet’s teeth – what you can see of them – may look clean and fresh after an anesthesia-free dental procedure, what you can’t see is actually more important.
Problems like tartar buildup below the gum line and gingivitis aren’t addressed during a procedure that only scrapes and polishes the teeth.
Most oral disease happens below the visible surfaces of your dog’s or cat’s mouth.

NPDS is an aesthetic procedure that doesn’t deal with gum problems or other risks to your pet’s overall health that can develop from disease that starts in the mouth.
It doesn’t allow for probing of the gums to look for the presence of deepening periodontal pockets or bone destruction resulting from gum disease.

The majority of older dogs that have undergone anesthesia-free dog dental procedures for years wind up with significant dental disease requiring multiple extractions as they age.

With all that said, there are certainly situations in which I remove plaque and tartar from a pet’s teeth without using anesthesia.
Each pet and situation is different. I don’t do it in lieu of a thorough dental exam, and I don’t do it on pets for which I have no dental history.
But if, for example, I have a pet with a large chunk of tartar that is irritating his mouth, I’ll remove that tartar without anesthesia if I can do it easily and without stressing out the patient.

When Putting Your Pet ‘Under’ is a Concern

The prospect of making a beloved pet unconscious with anesthesia is a distressing worry for many people. If you are among them, Dr. Brett Beckman, writing for dvm360, offers this advice:

Veterinary practices that routinely perform dental radiography and probing on all dental patients practice at an advanced level of care.
They’re also likely to be well-equipped to safely monitor patients and handle any problems they encounter.

Administration of premedications and nerve blocks enables patients to be kept at anesthetic depths consistent with that of a light general anesthesia.
This keeps patients close to waking, even when extractions or other invasive procedures are needed, thus maximizing cardiac output and tissue perfusion and maintaining blood pressure.

For more information on the safe use of anesthesia in pets, read my recent article What You Must Know Before Your Pet Goes “Under.”

Don’t Forget All Important At-Home Care!

You can help maintain your dog and cat dental health with regular brushing, a balanced, species-appropriate raw diet for dogs, an all-natural dental chew bone like Mercola’s Dental Bone or Gentle Dental Bone.

For affordable dog and cat dental procedures visit Dr. Epstein at Pet Shots Affordable Animal Clinic in Jacksonville Beach Fl.


Bio-Identical Hormones May Cause Illness in Pets

Bio-Identical topical hormone replacement products have the potential to cause health problems in pets. pet hormone exposure

Pets are exposed to the hormones because many are typically sprayed on the pet owner’s forearm to reduce hot flashes in during menopause.

Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has received reports of dogs experiencing mammary, or nipple, enlargement and vulvar, (external genital) swelling.

In one case the dog experienced liver failure and vaginal prolapse and in the other case the dog had elevated estrogen levels.

In reported cases, the owners had been applying hormone spray to their forearms.  Secondary exposure to the pets likely occurred when the dogs licked the owner’s arms, or while the dog was held by the owner.

Small pets (dog, cat, pocket pet) may be especially sensitive to the estrogen.

To help prevent estrogen exposure to a pet, FDA suggests that women using these product wear long sleeves to cover the application site and prevent pets from licking or touching the arm where they are sprayed. 

Small pets may be especially sensitive to the estrogen and may exhibit signs associated with excessive levels of estrogen.

This would include signs such as swollen vulva and nipples, vaginal bleeding, and vaginal prolapse.

If your pet’s skin or fur is accidentally exposed, it may help to bathe the animal with shampoo and water to remove any residual product.

If  your pet shows any of these signs, or other illness, contact your local veterinarian.         The Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Pet Poisons In Your Purse?

Did you know your purse contains a bunch of toxins that are dangerous to your pet?

Your asthma inhaler, small container of ibuprofen/Advil, prescription medication, cigarettes, and birth control packet can all be accidentally ingested!

When in doubt, keep these out of reach of your pets by simply hanging up your purse.
If you think your pet has ingested something poisonous, contact:
Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 or your veterinarian immediately for life-saving care! The sooner you treat the problem, the easier and less expensive it is to treat your pet!
For custom compounded pet meds in Jacksonville Fl. Call Denise at Preston Pharmacy, 32211, 904-725-1616

Pet Poison Substance Reference

Poisonous / Toxic to Pets & Animals (quick reference)








Dogs can die from very small doses

Onions (don’t even use the flavor)



Methemoglobinemia in cats/dogs

Garlic (don’t even use the flavor)



Methemoglobinemia in cats/dogs




Acute kidney failure and death in dogs

Xylitol (candy, sugarless)


Dogs become extremely hypoglycemic and may die





Intoxication, coma and death in cats & dogs

Tobacco smoke


Chocolate (don’t even use the flavor)




Vomiting, excessive thirst, tremors and seizures in dogs & cats





Cardiac symptoms and even death in cats

NSAIDS (Motrin/Aleeve)


Renal damage in cats; narrow therapeutic index in dogs

Macadamia nuts



Ataxia, vomiting, weakness and tremors in dogs & cats




Vomiting and diarrhea in dogs; congestion, difficult breathing, fluid around heart and death in birds




Affects many systems leading to shock and death

Apricot/cherry/peach pits & apple seeds


Can cause cyanide poisoning


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