Dear Dr. Fox — I read in today’s paper about a dog with very sore gums. I am one of those rare people who is highly allergic to fluoride in water. I had very sore gums. Even with teeth cleaning every three months, it didn’t help. Apart from sore gums, I also had severe stomach cramps and explosive diarrhea for several years before it could be figured out what caused all of this.

Could some animals be allergic to fluoride in water, bringing on unexpected illness?

Your letter is important to all. You are particularly sensitive to fluoride, so one wonders what fluoride does to other people and animals who do not develop acute symptoms but may suffer the consequences of chronic exposure and toxicity.

Many countries have prohibited the addition of fluoride to treated municipal water. Chlorination — an endocrine disrupter — is hazardous enough.

Chronic fluoride exposure has been linked with many health problems from thyroid disease to bone cancer, especially in boys. Pets may be similarly affected. Fluoride accumulates in the bones and teeth. For more details, especially about high fluoride levels in some pet foods, visit

Please give your animal companions quality spring water or purified water (not distilled). All municipal water authorities should cease and desist from adding fluoride (a byproduct of the agrichemical-fertilizer industry) to public water sources. Avoid pet foods that list “bone meal,” “meat meal” and “chicken byproduct meal” as ingredients. They may contain a lot of round bone included during the “deboning” process.