Saturday was Halloween and we here at Central Broward Animal Hospital in Plantation had a wonderful time. Amongst the staff’s pets, we had a Peter Pan theme going on—my dog Brian as Peter Pan, Erin’s dog Rilah as Tinkerbelle, Pam’s dog Duke as Captain Hook, Candy’s dog Sophie as the crocodile, and Dr. Lezcano’s daughter Natalie completed the theme as Wendy. Check out our Facebook page for the pictures.
Halloween is not only a time for dressing up. It’s also a time for candy—and lots of it. I am sure that all of the parents out there know what I’m talking about. I remember that when I went trick-or-treating as a kid, we would end up with enough candy to last at least the next two months. This overabundance of sweets, however, poses a threat to our four-legged friends. I know most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs (the caffeine and related chemicals cause their hearts to race and beat irregularly and can lead to death). What many people are not aware of is that many sugar free gums, candies, and baked goods are also toxic. Most sugar free gum contains xylitol, which is a great sweetener for people, but is toxic to our furry companions. When dogs ingest xylitol, it causes a large release of insulin in their bodies, which causes a dangerous drop in blood sugar. This low blood sugar level can lead to incoordination, seizures, coma, and death. At higher doses, xylitol can also severely damage a dog’s liver. So please, if you want to keep your dog’s breath fresh and his teeth sparkling clean, don’t share your gum (he’s not likely to chew it anyway). Come in and pick up a toothbrush kit or discuss with us all of the other many options for dental care. Your furry family will thank you for it.
Thora Powers, DVM