Xylitol Overdose in Dogs

Xylitol is a sugar alternative found in sugar-free gum, candy, toothpaste, and more. It is safe for humans, but not for canine consumption. Dogs can suffer negative health consequences if they consume a large quantity of xylitol. The use of xylitol is becoming more popular in goods and products, which has resulted in a sharp increase in poisoning cases in recent years. Don’t overlook the threat xylitol can pose to your pup.

The Hidden Dangers of Xylitol 

Xylitol is found in all kinds of products that both humans and dogs enjoy. For example, xylitol can be found in some peanut butter brands and as we know dogs love peanut butter. Unfortunately, xylitol is not always listed in the ingredients list on a product. Furthermore, the concentration of xylitol may not be published on the product. If you are unaware if a product contains xylitol, reach out to your veterinarian for confirmation. After ingesting xylitol, dogs can experience a severe drop in blood sugar in as little as 10 to 15 minutes and acute liver failure.

Xylitol Overdose Symptoms

Ingesting small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, while larger amounts can result in seizures and liver failure. If you’re concerned that your dog may be experiencing poisoning from xylitol watch out for symptoms such as: 

  • Vomiting
  • Inability to walk/stand or lack of coordination
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Body tremors
  • Seizures

Treatment for Xylitol Overdose 

Time is of the essence when you’re dealing with an episode of xylitol poisoning. Take your dog to the veterinarian right away. Afterwards, contact Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661. The team at Pet Poison Helpline will assess the severity of the exposure and determine the appropriate measures. Without delay, take your dog to a veterinary clinic for a thorough evaluation and proper treatment. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting if the ingestion happened within the last six hours. Additionally, your vet will monitor your dog’s blood glucose levels and administer IV fluids as necessary. If the symptoms are severe your dog may need to be hospitalized for further observation and care.