Xylitol Warning

My local news last night reported on a pet ferret that got into a pack of sugar-free gum and died from eating the Xylitol it contained.  This seemed kind of far-fetched to me, so I checked it out.  Turns out this very common sugar-substitute is indeed fatal to animals.  I know my dogs have gotten into my purse to pull out gum before, but they are so big, I guess it wasn’t enough to hurt them. 

The Knowles Animal Clinic in Miami has this to say on the subject:

“Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used in sugar-free products such as gum and candy, as well as for baking and is used in the production of certain low-carbohydrate products now on the market.

As early as the 1960’s, experiments indicated a link between the ingestion of xylitol
and hypoglycemia in dogs. However, it has only been recently that the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has begun to receive reports of xylitol toxicosis in dogs. It is believed that this recent rise is likely due to the increased use of products containing xylitol in the United States.”

 

When a dog eats Xylitol, it causes a huge insulin rush, throwing the dog into a coma similar to how a diabetic ends up when his blood sugar gets too low.  In as little as 30 minutes, your dog may begin to show the symptoms such as : 

  •  
    • Weakness

    • Vomiting

    • Ataxia (uncoordinated movements)

    • Depression

    • Hypokalemia (decreased potassium)

    • Seizures

    • Coma

    • Liver dysfunction and/or failure

                              Pretty scary stuff!

  

So, until next time, keep that sugar-free candy and gum away from all of your pets.

 

Good day, and good dog!

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