Dog ate gum- now what?
April 20, 2017 8:11 PM   Subscribe

My dog ate a discarded piece of very well-chewed spearmint "Ice Cubes" gum. Is he in danger?

I read that xylitol is very toxic to dogs. then I read that it's not that big a deal. My dog is about 60 lbs. Should I take him to the emergency vet? It's midnight here and I do not know what to do.
posted by I_Love_Bananas to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
ASPCA has an animal poison control hotline you can call for $65.

I'm not sure when this happened but if it's been less than about an hour and you are brave you could also try to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide. Honestly, I'd call the hotline first.
posted by praemunire at 8:19 PM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Xylitol is very toxic to dogs, you are correct. However, if you're sure that it was just one piece and given the weight of your dog, I wouldn't overly worry. I think calling the hotline is a great idea. But do it now.
posted by Automocar at 8:29 PM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would not attempt to induce vomiting yourself with hydrogen peroxide unless you have experience with it.

One piece of pre-chewed discarded gum in an otherwise healthy 60-lb dog would not be cause for me to go to the e-vet. I'd monitor for signs of lethargy or vomiting. If he's acting otherwise normal and holding down water after it's been an hour or so I'd even be comfortable going to sleep (so long as he sleeps in the same room as you and you'd wake up if he started vomiting). And I say this as a bit of a helicopter dog-person that has past experience working in a vet clinic.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:36 PM on April 20, 2017 [6 favorites]

Xylitol is several orders of magnitude more toxic than chocolate. If I were you, I would call the ASPCA poison control center right this freaking second.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:38 PM on April 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

If the gun is well-chewed, there probably is not much if any Xylitol in it anymore and your dog will probably be fine. That doesn't mean you shouldn't contact a vet, but don't panic.
posted by kindall at 9:05 PM on April 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

According to this site, xylitol can cause problems at 50mg/lb of dog, but not long term ones. More info here. So to be conservative, you should start to worry at 3g xylitol.

ICe cubes contains 1.15g xylitol per piece when new. The gum was well chewed, so he wouldn't have ingested that much.

He should be fine.
posted by kjs4 at 10:22 PM on April 20, 2017 [10 favorites]

My 12 lb dog ate nearly an entire pack (cardboard, wrappers and all) of sugar free gum and I did the hydrogen peroxide trick with great success. It's not that hard to do and the bonus was that his vomit was minty fresh. One stick I probably wouldn't have cared about, however.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:29 PM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hotline echoed kjs4's response and as of this morning all is well.

But I am certainly going to be more careful of where gum (chewed and unchewed) ends up from now on.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:23 AM on April 21, 2017 [8 favorites]

Glad your dog is doing well! My lab has a penchant for finding chewed-up gum on the sidewalk and scarfing it down before I see, so I'm unfortunately familiar with the numbers kjs4 linked. Ditto that one piece of pre-chewed gum for 60lb dog should be okay.

Can we not with the "my dog ate [a totally different toxic thing] once and was fine, yours definitely will be too" thing? This sort of anecdotal evidence puts pet lives at risk.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 6:59 AM on April 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

For future askers who stumble upon this question, the xylitol content can vary widely between gums. The poison control folks can look up the specific brand and flavor of gum, and then tell you whether it's a dangerous amount of xylitol based on your dog's weight.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:13 AM on April 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

[Couple comments removed, let's indeed stick to answers to this question and not wander to anecdotes about dogs eating other unrelated things.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:18 AM on April 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

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