Wilson is a laid back four-year-old Golden Retriever, and as a typical retriever, he is very food motivated. This is how he found himself in trouble when he got into a bottle of chewable melatonin sitting on a bedside table. Unfortunately, in doing so, he ingested a large amount of xylitol. Xylitol is a popular sugar substitute that can be found in everything from toothpaste to peanut butter. Although harmless and even beneficial to humans, it is toxic to dogs and can cause severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hepatic necrosis (destruction of the liver tissue).
Wilson’s owners woke up to him vomiting and found the chewed bottle of melatonin. It was estimated that he ate up to 100 tablets of the xylitol sweetened melatonin, with each tablet containing 240 mg of xylitol. When he presented to the Animal Medical Center of Seattle emergency service blood work was performed, which revealed hepatocellular damage (damage to the liver) and his coagulation (blood clotting ability) was severely abnormal as a result of his liver toxicity. Wilson was hospitalized for aggressive supportive care. He was given a plasma transfusion for help replacing his missing clotting factors and was started on liver supportive medication including IV and oral antioxidants, Vitamin K1, antinausea medication and IV fluids.
Wilson spent a few nights in intensive care, and although his prognosis was guarded, Wilson pulled through and was thankfully able to go home with his wonderful family! We are happy to report that he is healthy and getting back to his normal, adorable, food motivated self. Way to go Wilson!