Tuesday, June 02, 2009

AquaDent Pet Oral Health Product Contains Deadly Xylitol

I read an article today written by Susan Thixton, also known as "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food and ingredients information, and I wanted to share some of what I read. The article was on AquaDent Pet Oral Health Product and one of its main ingredients being Xylitol; which is toxic to cats and dogs.

According to the article, “many pet owners are aware that the sugar substitute Xylitol, found in many sugar free chewing gums, is toxic to [pets]. However few pet owners would think to look for Xylitol listed as an ingredient in a pet oral health product; especially one that claims to be developed by 'Veterinary Dental Specialists'. Yet, the pet oral health product C.E.T. AquaDent lists Xylitol as the third ingredient.”

Numerous pet retail stores sell AquaDent, including 1800PetMeds.com. According to their website, "C.E.T. AquaDent is a drinking water additive formulated by veterinary dental specialists to help freshen your pet's breath and maintain oral hygiene in conjunction with regular home dental care for your pet;” however, it provides no warning of Xylitol toxicity to animals.

Again, “according to Dr. Eric Dunayer, veterinarian and toxicologist for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, there appears to be a strong link between xylitol ingestion and the development of liver failure in dogs. It was previously thought that only large amounts of xylitol could result in problems for dogs, however recently even small amounts of xylitol can result in severe illness in dogs (and believed to affect cats and other animals as well).”

In doing her research, Susan consulted Snopes.com, a website known for debunking or confirming urban legends. According to this site, just three grams of Xylitol can kill a 65 pound dog. "Because the amount of sweetener used in sugar free chewing gums varies by manufacturer and product, the number of sticks of gum that would prove fatal to a pooch of that size can't be stated with precision. As a general rule of thumb, between eight and ten pieces of gum might be deadly to a 65 pound canine, but a smaller dog could easily die after ingesting far less (perhaps as few as two sticks of gum)."

Lastly, Susan points out that AquaDent also contains dyes linked to cancer and numerous other health risks, and it is manufactured by (Virbac Animal Health) a company that was on the FDA warning letter list (December 10, 2008) for violations of current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations, and who’s heartworm preventative was recalled on 2/11/2004 “due to contamination of Minocycline, a FDA approved human drug which has not been approved in species other than humans."

Susan finished with a good question and some great advice for all pet owners: “Why would a pet product, formulated by ‘veterinary dental specialists’, contain an ingredient that is known to be toxic to dogs? It's illogical and reckless. The moral of the story is this, read the ingredients of every single product provided to your pet. Just because a pet product is ‘formulated by veterinary specialists’ doesn't mean it's safe.”

To read the entire article and learn more about the author, please go to http://www.naturalnews.com/z025335.html.


Abagale said...


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Pet Poison Helpline said...

Thanks for spreading the word on pet toxicities on your blog - so important for pet owners to be aware of the lurking household poisons in (and outside of) their house! As an ER specialist, I see so many toxicities that owners bring in too late (making it more expensive to treat, with a worse prognosis!). When in doubt, it's so important to call a Poison Control for peace of mind! I'm glad you noticed that there was xylitol in this Virbac mouthwash - that said, a massive amount needs to be ingested before this is a problem in dogs and cats. When in doubt, please call a poison control if you notice a large amount of this mouthwash ingested (a self respecting cat wouldn't drink enough to cause a problem).

I wanted to make you aware of an important resource out there also - Pet Poison Helpline is an additional Animal Poison Control Center, and it's one of the most cost-effective animal poison ($35/case vs. ASPCA's new $60/case) controls out there nowadays. Unfortunately, because animal poison controls are not federal- or state-funded, there is a fee to allow the service to be run 24-7. We provide a similar service, but have the added benefit of veterinary specialists (in internal medicine and emergency and critical care) as part of our staff. You can always call 1-800-213-6680 if you ever have a problem. More importantly, we'll be albe to you help you calculate whether or not the amount of xylitol-containing mouthwash is a concern or not. Thanks for spreading the word!

Lastly, we send out a quarterly newsletter by email (our last one was on spring toxins) - if you're interested in receiving it (no spam, I promise), just sign up at info@petpoisonhelpline.com.

Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC
Associate Director of Veterinary Services

Anonymous said...

Xylitol is toxic to dogs, but is safe for cats and reduces dental plaque. Please research your articles better next time.

Alley Cat Rescue said...

Xylitol IS TOXIC to both cats and dogs. You just hear of it more often in dogs because they tend to chew and eat more things than they should (as opposed to cats).

According to PetMD.com:

Toxicity from Gum, Candy, and Toothpaste in Cats

Xylitol Toxicity in Cats

There are certain sugar-free gums, candies, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and baked goods which contain xylitol, a 5-carbon sugar alcohol used as a sweetener. When ingested by cats, xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure. This naturally-occurring sugar substitute is also available as a granulated powder for cooking and baking.

Xylitol toxicity can affect BOTH DOGS AND CATS. If you would like to learn more about how this condition affects dogs, please visit this page in the PetMD pet health library.

For the complete article:

Anonymous said...

"Xylitol IS TOXIC to both cats and dogs. You just hear of it more often in dogs because they tend to chew and eat more things than they should (as opposed to cats). "

No, not true. clinical studies with cats show no know toxicity for levels of xylitol in cats. Studies, not anecdotes. Because cat's livers are more sensitive, and even smaller amount of known toxins that would harm a dog of the same size could kill a cat, and yet studies done ON CATS for the purpose of testing Xyltol On Cats, show that when applications in water it showed health improvement not detriment. (J Vet Dent(23)2:79-82) is a reference. A dog is not a cat. it's faulty thinking to assume that what's safe for one is safe for the other and the converse that what is harmful to one is harmful to another. assuming so lead to mistakes like not having enough taurine in cat's foods cause they are the same as dogs, pets. don't feet fat to your rabbit, it's a different animal. Don't feed seeds to your cat, don't feed grass to your dog. They are different animals.
Another reference is this http://www.petconnection.com/blog/hansen-xylitol/

Steve Cooper said...

This is so cool..thanks so much for the info. Love it!
anti aging products

Claire Austin said...

I am sorry to do a necro on this post but I am so concerned about this xylitol issue. I have 2 four legged children (CKC spaniels) ages 7 and have (at the advice of my vet) given them vet aquadent since they were young. I am normally so careful and check every ingredient of everything I give them so carefully. I have of course stopped giving them this now but would be keen to know the amounts of xylitol that are dangerous, and the amount of xylitol in vet aquadent. Interestingly. After all there are many things humans consume in tiny amounts which would be poisonous in greater quantities. Vet aquadent have just changed the dosage for meaning that they recommend a lot more product per day for my dog than before - almost double!
My vet did just tell me that my dogs teeth are perfect and look like that of a much younger dog but that may be down to the plaque off I use (a seaweed based product put in meals - please god its safe) and the fish skin treats they get every day from fish4dogs.co.uk

Anyway any further info on this would be received with interest and thanks.