Xylitol

Gum Pack

Pictured: Gum Pack

Poisonous to: Dogs

Level of toxicity: Potentially mild to severe, depending on the dose ingested

Common signs to watch for:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Collapse
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Share

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.

Poison type: 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