the dog who survived [also – the unknown poison you need to know about]

When your dog survives xylitol poisoning, you need to write about it. First, because before this I had NO IDEA how many everyday products and food have xylitol in them, and second of all, because it was a MIRACLE, and we need to talk about MIRACLES more often.

It was my last teacher day at school, so Brady and Kayden were frolicking around town, having lunch, doing father/daughter-y things. When they got home, it was a mess. The baby gate holding our dog in “her room” hadn’t latched, and well, Coco had a party.

She ate the trash, Kayden’s lip glosses (all of them), and an entire canister of Juicy Fruit gum. At first, they were just annoyed. Kayden couldn’t believe Coco ate all 30-40 pieces of her gum!! But after about thirty minutes, they knew something was wrong.

Coco began to get lethargic. Our big, black, labradoodle started drooling. She stared into space. When Brady tried to walk her, Coco’s legs sprawled in all directions. She was paralyzed and blind. They knew something was wrong, so they loaded her in the back of the truck.

The minute they arrived at the vet, Coco started seizing. It took three veterinarians to hold her down. While they were waiting for the doctors to examine her, Brady saw a poster on the wall listing poisons for dogs. Xylitol was one of them, and it is a sugar substitute often found in gum.

Ironically, our family hardly ever has sugar substitutes in our home, as we eat mostly organic and clean. But this gum was a gift to Kayden left on our kitchen table – just in reach of a gangly 50 pound dog.

Brady did what anyone would do. He googled it – and immediately called me with the bad news. This sugar substitute killed 80 pound dogs when they ate TWO pieces. Our dog ate 30.

Long story short, but three days later, after intensive fluid therapy, liver treatment meds at the Emergency Vet (xylitol essentially damages the liver), and continued medication at home, Coco is currently showing NO SYMPTOMS. There is certainly some liver damage, and we will learn more about that in the weeks to come, but she survived.

It is a miraculous survival that our vet can’t even believe.

When Kayden was with Coco in the back of the truck, she prayed over our dog. Brady said that, amid sobs and wails, Kayden cried out to Jesus and asked Him to heal our puppy. But something else happened. Kayden told Jesus that if His will wasn’t to save our dog, she understood, because He knows what He’s doing.

In the midst of the crisis, Kayden came to terms with life and death and humbled herself, trusting God with the outcome.

Coco is just a dog, but she’s OUR dog. And really, in a family with one kid, Coco is another sibling. A member of the family.

When I finally met them at the Emergency Vet, I was surprised at the calm all over my kid. Later, she told me that she loved Coco, but she knew God had it under control – and if she lost Coco, there had to be a reason.

My twelve year old’s faith was a witness to me. Whatever happened, she was choosing to trust. She was choosing God’s will over her own. She was choosing joy.

I just got back from a walk with Coco. Of course, she’s not going to live forever, but our little family has watched a miracle happen. I can’t claim to know God’s plan, but I do know that He has used this crisis to show me my daughter’s faith and teach me more about trusting in Him.

For more about xylitol and the products that contain it, please visit this link. It is important to know what you need to store carefully to protect your dog. And furthermore, if it’s that poisonous for dogs, WHY ARE WE CONSUMING IT? Just some food for thought. 🙂


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