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Xylitol Poisoning

Posted: 2016-06-15 Permanent Link

Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs, Wait what is Xylitol?
How many packages of gum do you have lying around your house? You head to Costco and buy the multi-pack because it’s cheap and conveniently you can have one in your purse, one in your car, another lying on the counter etc. Now besides the obvious calorie issue would you have a chocolate bar in all the same places? Most people know that chocolate is toxic to dogs so they keep it out of reach, but a lot of us don’t know that xylitol, a sugar substitute in chewing gum is even more harmful to dogs at smaller doses. One piece of gum contains approximately 0.3 to 0.4 grams of xylitol so that means you could see toxic side effects in a 4.5 kg (10 lb dog) by as little as 1.5 pieces of gum. At smaller doses the first clinical signs you could see are weakness, vomiting, incoordination, tremors and potentially seizures. This is due to the hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) effect that xylitol causes in the body. At higher doses xylitol can cause hepatic necrosis (destruction of the liver) followed by acute liver failure which can then result in death. To see the more severe toxic effects the 10lb dog mentioned above would have to eat an entire pack of gum.
How many of us put peanut butter in Kong toys for our dogs? They love it right?! Well another significant fact is that xylitol is now being found in other products such as peanut butter so it is important to read the ingredients list. If you are going to take that extra step and actually brush your dog’s teeth it is important you use dog specific toothpaste because xylitol is found in human toothpastes due to its antibacterial qualities. Listed below are three links to articles that go into much more detail about xylitol toxicity in dogs.

Millbrook Valley Animal Hospital Pet Health Library Xylitol Poisoning
Type xylitol in Search Window
Xylitol The sugar-free sweetener your dog NEEDS you to know about

Or go to www.veterinarypartner.com and type “xylitol” in the search window.

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