Xylitol Toxicity And Pets

Xylitol Toxicity And Pets

Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol, known as a polyol, which is used as an alternative sweetener. Even though it is a natural substance extracted from hardwoods, it is posing a greater risk for our pets. This sweetener is found in more products than you would imagine and ingesting small amounts can cause hypoglycemic shock and liver failure, leading to death in your furry family member. In people, xylitol is slowly absorbed. However in pets, it is very quickly absorbed.

Some of the products that contain xylitol are sweetened food products like certain peanut butters, vitamins, glucosamine products, melatonin, chewing gum, candy, some baking products, personal care products like baby wipes and sunscreens, and toothpaste and other oral hygiene products. PLEASE NOTE – Xylitol may be the third or fourth ingredient down on the list of non-medicinal ingredients, so when giving any human product, read ALL the ingredients.

If your pet has ingested a product that contains xylitol, please call your veterinarian immediately. Xylitol can cause a large insulin release, and in as little as 30 minutes, hypoglycemia can result. Signs that may start showing are:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures – which may appear as staring at nothing, as well as the tremors normally associated
  • Collapse

There is NO antidote for xylitol. Please be very diligent when buying any over the counter product for your pet.



For more information, please see the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website

http://aspcapro.org/poison  or call 1 (888) 426-4435.




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