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Xylitol toxicity in dogs

Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs:

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is very commonly used in the production of sugarless gum and candies.

While the substance can be consumed freely and without any side effects by humans, consumption by a pet such as a dog will cause a different kind of reaction as a result of their levels of metabolism. Xylitol ingestion in dogs can cause a rapid reduction in blood sugar levels that could lead to a hypoglycemic crisis that is very similar to giving a diabetic adult and overdose of insulin.

The after effects of this can be rather severe leading to liver damage as well as abnormalities in the blood.

Symptoms, Side Effects of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs:


Xylitol toxicity in dogs can show up a number of symptoms, mainly because of its severe consequences.

The most common symptoms include weakness, depression, muscle tremors, bleeding and anemia, increased levels of thirst and urination; blood smeared or black colored feces as well as a significant lack of appetite. Since the condition can develop very quickly, the symptoms can start to show as little as 30 minutes after consumption of the xylitol containing product. A number of pet owners are unaware that xylitol can have such an effect on pets. As a result, a number of them will, unwittingly, feed the animal small pieces of sugarless candy, sugarless chewing gum or sweeteners packaged for use in the kitchen. The substance can be lethal even in very small quantities. The severity of the condition would depend on a number of factors including the amount of substance consumed, the size of the dog, the physical condition of the animal before consumption as well as if any vomiting was induced and successful in removing the xylitol from the stomach before it could be absorbed by the body.

Treatments for Xlylitol Poisoning in Canines:


If you suspect that your dog has eaten some gum, breath mints or candy that contains xylitol, you should induce some amount of vomiting in order to help the animal regurgitate the substance. However, this must be done before the substance is absorbed and by an experienced set of hands. Hence, rushing him to a veterinarian as soon as possible is probably the wisest thing to do. Avoid storing any kinds of xylitol containing products in your home or make sure that they are stored in a safe place, out of the reach of your dogs. Considering that a sweet tooth is very common in most dogs, they may often raid the kitchen counter tops and tables in search of foods that fulfill this desire.
  Submitted on January 22, 2010  

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