Xylitol is a name that you may have never heard of, but it’s probable that you consume it every day. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute in many human foods. It’s basically a sweetener used in things like sugar-free gum, candy, baked goods, even toothpaste and mouthwash!
While xylitol is harmless to humans, it’s very toxic for dogs. Here’s a personal story I’d like to share about the dangers of xylitol poisoning. Thankfully the story has a happy ending because the dog’s owners were able to act so quickly.
Xylitol Poisoning in a Poodle
A family member of mine went to dinner at 5:30pm; they returned at 7pm to find that their one year old poodle had gotten into her dad’s briefcase. The dog had eaten three to five sugar-free breath mints. They called poison control and were told the xylitol in the breath mints was toxic to dogs. For his small size, as few as just two mints could be fatal.
They rushed him to the ER where they induced vomiting. If he had ingested the mints very recently, just before they got home, they hoped he would vomit them up. They then gave the dog activated charcoal and started IV fluids. He was monitored for two days in the ER for low blood sugar, seizures, and kidney failure.
Fortunately he did well and recovered. There was no evidence of organ damage because they acted quickly. But it just goes to show that it does not take much for something so small, and seemingly so innocent, to be deadly.
Pet Poisoning Resources & Emergencies
Please take a look at our Resources page, in particular the General Pet Health & Welfare tab for all kinds of useful links, including one that will take you to ASPCA Animal Poison Control. If you have a pet that likes to get into everything, you can even download their mobile app to help you keep your pet safe.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call them at (888) 426-4435. (Note that a consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.)
To read more about xylitol toxicosis in dogs, here’s a link to a very detailed article we found on VeterinaryPartner.com: – https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952809
As always, if you have any concerns about your pet’s health and wellness, we are here to help. Call 480.774.6995 or contact us online to schedule a clinic or at-home appointment.