• FDA warns dog owners, ingredient in some foods dangerous for dogs

    By: Beth Rousseau , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An ingredient in everyday items is making dogs fatally ill.

    Grace Steiger told Action News Jax she does everything she can to keep her dogs, Leo and Dexter, safe.

    “They’re my children," she said. "I don’t trust anyone else to walk them except my fiance. So, they’re pretty important to me."



    The dog mom described herself as meticulous when it comes to their diets.

    She admitted she can’t control everything they eat.

    “Dogs are dogs and they get into a lot of stuff. You have to be very responsible about keeping what they can’t have away from them,” Steiger said.

    The FDA is seeing more dogs getting into products with xylitol.

    The sugar substitute is fine for humans, but poison for pets – causing a sudden drop in glucose and liver failure.

    The sweetner is most common in gum, but can also be present in the following items:

    • breath mints
    • baked goods
    • cough syrup
    • children’s and adult chewable vitamins
    • mouthwash
    • toothpaste
    • some peanut and nut butters
    • over-the-counter medicines
    • dietary supplements
    • sugar-free desserts, including "skinny" ice cream

    In February Action News Jax introduced you Parker Hollander.

    His dog got into a package of mints and couldn’t walk minutes later.

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    “I was terrified," he said. "I thought my dog was dying."

    Veterinarians say symptoms include:

    • ​​​​Vomiting
    • Decreased activity
    • Weakness
    • Staggering
    • Incoordination
    • Collapse
    • Seizures

    Steiger said it would be devastating to any animal owner.

    “It makes you think about how careful you really have to be,” she said.

    If you think your dog has eaten xylitol, take him to your vet or an emergency animal hospital.

    Do it immediately because hypoglycemia and other serious adverse effects may not occur in some cases for up to 12 to 24 hours, according to the FDA. 

    Click HERE for more information from the FDA. 

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