As a pet owner, do you know what xylitol is and the dangers of it to dogs? If you don’t, that’s okay, not a lot of people know what xylitol is and the effects it can. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is used in diabetic snacks, baked goods, gums, and confections.
Good to know, right? But what does it have to do with dogs? Dogs are super curious, and they like to eat what their humans eat. Cupcakes, gum, and pastries are yummy for humans, but they are dangerous for dogs to eat. These delicious foods can contain xylitol, which is toxic for dogs. If a dog eats a product that contains xylitol, they can experience xylitol poisoning.
What if My Dog Eats Xylitol?
What should you do if your dog eats something that contains xylitol? First, identify what your dog ate and how much. Your vet will want to know so make sure to take note. Next, separate your dog and the item and keep any products containing xylitol in a secure location. Bring your dog to the vet clinic if they are experiencing any symptoms.
Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs
Dogs who consume xylitol may experience dangerous drops in blood sugar and liver damage. This is not a concern for cats or humans. Decreasing levels of blood sugar can occur 10-15 minutes after intake.
Dogs can also become clumsy, stumble, have seizures, and vomit as other symptoms progress. More pronounced symptoms may not appear for several hours.
Xylitol Poisoning Treatment for Dogs
The blood glucose level of your dog must be checked as soon as possible by a veterinarian. When treating xylitol poisoning, activated charcoal is not suggested since it does not consistently bind to the toxin. The suggested treatment is IV dextrose supplementation, IV fluids, and regular monitoring of glucose levels in the blood and liver enzyme activity,
Pet owners should watch their dogs for symptoms and monitor regular blood glucose levels if they suspect xylitol poisoning. Dogs can recover from xylitol poisoning, but they must receive medical care. Fatalities are rare but depend on the severity of the poisoning and your dog’s past medical history. Contact Pet Poison Helpline®, at 855-764-7661, and your veterinarian as soon as possible if you fear your dog is experiencing xylitol poisoning.