Xylitol

Xylitol

foods

Alternate names

sugar-free, sugarless, gum, bubble gum, mints, breath mints, toothpaste, chewable vitamins, nasal spray, sugar alcohol, acute hepatic necrosis, hypoglycemia, liver failure

Toxicity to pets

Xylitol is a natural, sugar-free sweetener commonly found in chewing gums, mints, foods (e.g., pudding, gelatin snacks, sauces, syrups, jams, etc.), candies (chocolate and non-chocolate), oral rinses, toothpastes, OTC supplements (e.g., sugar-free chewable multivitamins, fish oils, etc.), some essential oil products, nasal sprays, and even makeup and personal lubricants.  There are even some pieces of clothing that contain xylitol! The xylitol content of products varies widely, with some products containing minimal amounts and others containing very high amounts.  Even one brand of gum, for example, may have different amounts of xylitol in each flavor.  If enough xylitol is ingested it can cause life-threatening low blood sugar (even within 10-15 minutes of ingestion) and acute liver failure.

If you suspect your pet has eaten a product containing xylitol, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline for assistance as soon as possible.

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    Disclaimer

    The content of this page is not veterinary advice. A number of factors (amount of substance ingested, size of the animal, allergies, etc.) determine what is toxic to a particular pet. If you think your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call Pet Poison Helpline or seek immediate veterinary treatment.