Xylitol is a sugar-free substance that is toxic to dogs and is found in a variety of items that may already be in your home. To prevent your dog from being exposed to this dangerous substance, it is important to familiarize yourself with the potential sources of xylitol and the high risks it has when it comes to dogs. To learn more about xylitol and the signs of toxicity, keep reading below.
The Dangers of Xylitol Toxicity
Xylitol is a sugar-free artificial sweetener that is commonly used as an alternative to traditional sugar. It has become increasingly popular due to its low-calorie content and potential health benefits; however, it can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Xylitol is found in a variety of items such as sugar-free gum, candy, peanut butter, deodorant, sleep aids, shaving cream, toothpaste, and more. Xylitol is very dangerous and its prevalence in food products makes it even more concerning. Ingesting xylitol can lead to a life-threatening drop in blood sugar in as little as 10 to 15 minutes and acute liver failure.
Clinical Signs of Xylitol Toxicosis
Small amounts of xylitol can cause poisoning in dogs. Low doses of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, while high doses can cause seizures and liver failure. Knowing the amount of xylitol in a product your dog has ingested helps when determining the severity of their poisoning. If you are unsure, contact Pet Poison Helpline® for more information on a specific product and to find out if your pet needs medical attention. Possible symptoms include:
- Inability to walk/stand or lack of coordination
- Lethargy or weakness
- Body tremors
Treatment for Xylitol Toxicosis
If your dog has consumed xylitol, seek help immediately. Call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian for medical attention. The team of experts can help you determine the severity of the dosage and what next steps need to be taken. It is best to take your dog to a clinic or animal hospital for a thorough examination and proper treatment. Your vet may induce vomiting if your dog has not yet exhibited signs of poisoning and the ingestion occurred within the past six hours. Your vet will also monitor your dog’s blood sugar levels and may administer IV fluids. Your dog may need to stay overnight for observation.