The news spread quickly, and the word is that many hunters are now making sure they have a plastic baggie with a healthy dose of the sweetener whenever they head out for big game. And if they are successful, they are leaving many very sweet gut piles behind. Likewise, if they happen upon a wolf-killed elk or deer carcass, they are also dousing those down with Xylitol as well. And this has had the environmentalists in an uproar. So much so, that when the LOBO WATCH website shared this news, these groups went overboard to try getting the site shut down for good...but it didn't work. Their accusations, blogs, petitions, threats, and public comments just brought more attention to the LOBO WATCH efforts to keep the spotlight burning on the wolf issue - and to bring in more followers. And we would like to thank them.
Noted 19th Century American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Every sweet has its sour." And that sour to sportsmen is that the very same Xylitol laced gut piles and carcasses pose the same deadly danger to hunting dogs. Be aware that the sweetener is now being widely used (sales of the sweetener have never been better in the Northern Rockies), and that every precaution must be made to prevent your dogs from eating on game offal or carcasses where you hunt.
So, what is Xylitol...and how does it affect canines?
Snopes says, "Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used in candy and chewing gum. It is also found in some pharmaceuticals and oral health products, such as chewable vitamins and throat lozenges. It can also be used in home baking.
While Xylitol is safe for humans, it can be harmful to dogs. The compound doesn't affect glucose levels in people, but when ingested by dogs it can cause a dangerous surge of insulin. (In as little as 15 minutes, the blood sugar of a dog that has eaten gum containing Xylitol may register a marked drop in blood sugar.) At higher doses, Xylitol is believed toxic to the canine liver."
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