As a member of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of New York, I would like to pass on some information that their Poison Control Center distributed. The ASPCA is warning pet owners that Xylitol, a sweetener used in gum and candy can cause serious hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in dogs. The Poison Control Center had 45 cases in 2003 involving dogs ingesting Xylitol-containing products. The January 2005 issue of "Dog World" magazine enlarges on the information I received. They said that "Xylitol causes a rapid rise in dogs' insulin levels, making blood sugar levels drop dangerously fast. The symptoms (to look for) can develop within 20 to 30 minutes and include loss of coordination and motor function, and seizures." The Poison Control Center states that dog owners should be sure to keep such products well out of the reach of their pets.
The December issue of "Dog World" announced the Dog Hero of the Year, a golden retriever named Sundance. Sundance lives with his owners in Farmingville, N.Y. The family has a 3-year-old daughter who went outside to play her toy ball pit. The mother heard a scream and ran outside to find her young daughter on top of the picnic table shrieking. Sundance was in the pit barking at a dead 8-foot python which had escaped from nearby and decided to make the pit its new home. It seems that the snake was agitated and the dog felt his charge was in danger, so he killed it. Sundance received the 2004 Kibbles 'n' Bits Dog Hero of the Year Award which includes $500, a grooming gift certificate, and an engraved Dog Hero food bowl.