A picture from Pine Forest Animal Clinic in Pensacola, Florida

Pine Forest Animal Clinic
Dr. David Perrett


6860 Pine Forest Road
Pensacola, FL 32526

BEWARE: Toxins are all around us!

Although there are many different toxins, there are three important toxins that you should know about; Xylitol, Sago Palm, and Cocoa Mulch.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in many products, including sugar-free gum, mints, nicotine gum, chewable vitamins, oral-care products, baked goods, and even low-calorie smoothies! It can also be purchased in a granulated form for baking and as a sweetener for cereals and beverages. Although xylitol is safe in humans, it is not safe in animals. Reactions range from hypoglycemia to acute hepatic necrosis, and even liver failure with coagulopathy.  In 2006, JAVMA published 8 discussed cases of xylitol toxicity, 5out of 8 of the animals discussed were either euthanized or died because of liver failure!

Sago Palm are found more in homes now than in previous years. The Sago Palm is a stocky, spiky leaved plant in the Cycad family. Recently miniature or “bonsai” versions of the Sago Palm have also become popular. Sago and other cycad palms contain toxic compounds that can contain vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizures, and even liver failure or death! The ASPCA has reported an increase of 200% in reported Sago Palm toxicity.  Treatment is supportive (fluids, milk thistle), urosedoxycholic acid, monitor for coagulopathy, and antiemetics to control vomiting.

Cocoa Mulch is a toxin found in mulch used for landscaping. It is attractive to animals because of its odor, texture,and color. many pet owners are unaware of the danger of cocoa mulch!

If you ever suspect that your pet has come in contact with these or ANY toxins you should take them to the vet immediately. Treatment and likelihood that your pet will survive the toxicity depend on how much the pet ingest and how quick you begin treatment!

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