Hi Everyone, Thank you for your replies about the toothpaste topic. It is true that some toothpastes contain xylitol which is an alcohol based sweetener which will kill a dog quicker as it will drop the dogs blood sugar very rapidly and cause liver failure. However, sodium fluoride on it's own will kill a dog if enough is ingested. The symptoms will be similar, but the outcome will be the same. Maybe, it will take a bit longer. Our little Maisy died approximately 35 hours after found chewing on the tube. Regarding the warning on the toothpaste tube, yes it is there in small print. It will typically say: "Do not swallow, Not to be used in children under 6 years of age......." This is no doubt because children this young may be inclined to swallow and not rinse and spit. Also, with fruit and bubble gum flavours available in toothpastes, children may be more inclined to swallow as they love the yummy taste. Alarmingly, I have two brands of toothpaste in my house that have NO warning whatsoever and they are two Colgate advanced whitening brands. There is. however. no warning that it is toxic to pets, especially dogs, who, when they get hold of a tube, will swallow as much as they can because they love the sweet minty taste. Below, I have copied a reference from the website "Family Pet" What are the dangers of letting my dog swallow human toothpaste? BY FAMILYPETReport Advertisement Some people are tempted to brush their dog’s teeth with human toothpaste in an effort to get rid of “doggy breath.” Some others have dogs that will get into anything, and that includes eating entire tubes of toothpaste. Dogs should never have it, and these are the specific reasons why: First, human toothpaste contains fluoride, and that substance is toxic to dogs. An overdose of fluoride result in symptoms such as restlessness, stiffness, loss of appetite, drooling, and vomiting. It can progress to urinary problems, seizures, weakness, severe depression, and cardiac failure. Human toothpaste might also include a sweetener called xylitol which wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels and can cause liver failure in dogs. We also need to remember that human toothpaste is not edible, and we spit it out instead of swallowing it. Pets generally cannot spit and will swallow the toothpaste. Human toothpaste tubes have a warning on them that stresses not to swallow it. Manufacturers of pet toothpastes formulate their products to swallow and be fully digestible. Human toothpastes also contain a detergent, or surfactant, to help fluoride work well, causing the toothpaste to foam and carry away debris while brushing. Pet toothpaste does not foam. The foaming action is very unpleasant to pets and gives them a bad experience that makes brushing their teeth difficult. Even those specially formulated pet dental products need to be used with care because, although it’s generally safe, it does contain xylitol—so you really need to strictly use it as directed. Minor stomach upset could occur if your pet swallows more than what is normally used for brushing. When ingested in amounts that exceed the recommended per label dose, xylitol can cause a sudden drop in a dog’s blood sugar, resulting in weakness, tremors and seizures as well as the potential for liver failure. Second, if your dog just gets into the toothpaste to eat it, there is another concern: Did she swallow chunks of the plastic tube in which it came? Consult your veterinarian or animal poison control center immediately if your dog eats any amount of human toothpaste. As I mentioned in my first post, my family and everyone I have spoken to were not aware of how potentially lethal toothpaste is to dogs. If we were aware, our darling Maisy would still be with us now. We all love our dogs, they are like our children, and we want to do everything to protect them and give them a happy, healthy life. So I hope this has been useful information for you all. Regards, George.
Hi Everyone, My name is George and I'd like to get the message out about toothpaste. Strange as it may seem, dogs love the sweet minty taste of toothpaste. Our gorgeous, adorable one year old Pug named Maisy found the toothpaste tube neglectfully left on the bathroom floor. I was at work at the time, but when my partner and daughter noticed she was chewing on the tube, they thought it was fairly innocuous, took it from her and put it in the bin and thought nothing more about it. This took place about 9pm in the evening. About 4am she started vomiting on my daughter Melanie's bed. She also had diarrhoea, then more vomiting later in the morning and looked very sick, listless and depressed. But no-one made the connection to the toothpaste tube as the cause of her illness. I was not made aware until a couple of days later that she had been chewing on the tube. By the time she was taken to the Vet clinic later that evening she was critical. Her blood sample revealed that her blood sugar was extremely low and had to be put on a glucose drip and her white cell count was zero. The Vet said she must have ingested something toxic but no-one thought to mention the toothpaste. She remained overnight in the clinic under observation, but in the morning she had a seizure, went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived. We were all devastated, shocked and heart broken, especially Melanie for whom we purchased this Pug for her eighteenth birthday. Maisy was the love of her life - she had desired a Pug for a pet and finally got her wish. We all adored her for her cute looks and crazy antics. Suddenly, she is gone out of our life and sadness remains. I needed a sense of closure, so I went into detective mode to identify what caused her untimely death. I searched everywhere inside and outside the house, but found nothing. I backtracked where I had walked her that morning - maybe there was a poison mushroom - found nothing. Then, out of the blue, by partner said, "oh, she was chewing a toothpaste tube". I then retrieved the toothpaste tube out of the bin, and found the "smoking gun". Maisy must have relished the taste - the tube was riddled with tooth marks, the cap and opening was licked clean. Onto the internet I go and begin researching toothpaste. To my horror I find that toothpaste can be fatal to dogs because it contains sodium fluoride which in fact is a toxic poison. Sodium fluoride is more toxic that lead and a little less toxic that arsenic. An overdose of fluoride result in symptoms such as restlessness, stiffness, loss of appetite, drooling, and vomiting. It can progress to urinary problems, seizures, weakness, severe depression, and cardiac failure. A small 50mg of toothpaste has enough fluoride to kill a 10Kg dog. Just 10mg will result in clinical illness. Our Maisy was just 7Kg. How much she ingested is uncertain, but only a small amount would have had a catastrophic impact on her tiny organs. I can't imagine how much pain she endured. More research reveals that sodium fluoride was most effective in killing rodents like rats and mice and insects such as cockroaches. It was the number one poison to use in the late eighteen hundreds. When we brush our teeth with a paste containing sodium fluoride, we rinse and then spit. Hence, we ingest only a minute amount which apparently does not harm us. Dogs don't spit. I rang the Vet and when I mentioned the toothpaste she replied that all the symptoms Maisy presented were consistent with sodium fluoride poisoning. Unfortunately, the minute she began chewing on the tube there was going to be a fatal outcome. Now, we did not know that toothpaste can be fatal to dogs and everyone that I spoke to, without exception, even many dog owners replied that they did not know toothpaste is toxic to dogs. The reason why is because there is no warning whatsoever on the tube or box it comes in that it is toxic to pets. I am extremely disappointed about this! The manufacturer of this product should be made responsible to warn of its danger. Sorry if I have rambled on with this story. I am doing this for our darling Maisy. I just hope to make all dog owners aware that in our homes we have and use toothpaste every day, therefore we think it is harmless, but it can be deadly to our beloved dogs. If I can save just one other dog, then Maisy's death won't be in vain. Please do your own research on sodium fluoride. Regards, George from South Australia.