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Xylitol-Canine Killer?

Over the past few days, I have been seeing a lot of posts pop up on Facebook about Xylitol and the effects it can have on dogs.

I have known Xylitol to be toxic to dogs since I started working in the veterinarian field.

That is one of my problems.

Sometimes I just figure that if I know something, most everyone else does too.

I was amazed to see how many people do not know that this can be fatal to their dogs.

So now I am going to help spread the word.

What is Xylitol?

xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can be toxic to dogs if ingested

 Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can be found in many things, such as, gums, jellies, baked goods, kinds of toothpaste, candy and many more items.

Compared to sugar, xylitol causes very little insulin release in people and insulin is not required for it to be put to use as an energy source for the body.

It has also been shown to prevent mouth bacteria from producing acids that damage the surfaces of the teeth

Common Products That Contain Xylitol

common foods that contain xylitol are sugar-free gums, peanut butter, baked goods, flavored water

  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Peanut butter
  • Sugar-free candy and gum
  • Sugar-free breath mints
  • Fruit drinks
  • Jellies and jams
  • Cereals
  • Baked goods
  • Sugar-free puddings and Jello
  • Over the counter vitamin supplements

What Happens When a Dog Consumes Xylitol?

signs a dog is sick from xylitol are vomiting, weakness, staggering and collapse

Studies have shown that if a dog ingests a product containing this sweetener, the dog can become very ill and if large doses are consumed it can be fatal.

Lower doses are said to cause hypoglycemia and in severe cases liver failure.

Signs of ingestion can include but are not limited to, weakness, vomiting, staggering and seizures, dogs can start to show signs of Xylitol poisoning as soon as 30 minutes after ingestion, but it could take up to 24 hours to see signs and by then the damage may already be done.

If you suspect that your pet has eaten any amount of Xylitol you could contact your veterinarian immediately.

I have seen Xylitol poisoning more than once where I work.

Although not fatal in these cases, still very scary, traumatic and costly.

Having 2 young children and 2 large dogs that counter surf, I do not purchase products that contain this sugar substitute

If we are at the grocery store and Gracie wants a pack of gum, I make sure that I read the label first.

I mostly let them chew Extra Gum because it does not contain this, I even called them to verify.

Most Trident products that I have seen contain Xylitol.

If you suspect your dog may have ingested Xylitol, you should call your vet immediately!

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