Xylitol ProductsI continue to hear the devastation that Xylitol causes to our pets. People continuously say they didn’t know about the harm Xylitol causes. I don’t know why but my guess would be because I am in the pet industry I have heard too many stories of dogs who have died because of this substance. It is occurring more frequently. I recently was reading a post regarding a dog dying from Xylitol poisoning on a pet sitting board. The pet sitter who was posting about her client’s dog dying from Xylitol poisoning was not aware of Xylitol  being toxic. There were a lot of pet sitters on this board who also were not aware how harmful Xylitol is to dogs. I am not sure why I am so aware that Xylitol is poison to our dogs but it is my hope that this blog will be sent to everyone’s friends and families and that we can get the word out to stop the death of our beloved pets.

Xylitol is a sugar substitute, they say is safe for humans, but it is deadly to pets especially dogs. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that today we find in sugar-free gum, mints, candy, baked products and beverages. It is also found in toothpastes, chewable sugar free vitamins and oral mouth rinses.

I think because our cats are not as likely to get into things such as gum, mints, and toothpaste as often as our dogs is  the reason we don’t hear more about cats dying from Xylitol poisoning.

In as little as 15-30 minutes Xylitol poisoning can result in our pets. Rapid increase in insulin and then a drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs. It depends on the dose ingested to what signs you will see. Hypoglycemia symptoms can include vomiting, weakness, lethargy and difficulty walking (stumbling around, bumping into things). In severe cases signs include collapse and seizures.

Xylitol in high doses causes severe irreversible liver damage. Some signs of liver failure are vomiting, black-tarry stool, coma, increased liver enzymes, jaundice, clotting problems, coma and death.

The prognosis is related to how much Xylitol is consumed, the size of the dog/pet and how soon treatment is started. This is not something to wait on. Get to the veterinarian immediately. Delaying treatment your pet has a greater chance of dying.

Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline says to “Educate yourself about where Xylitol is found. Read the labels of any sugar-free products in your kitchen, your bathroom and your purse. And either ban these products from your house and your purse or secure them very carefully to prevent your pets from ever getting into them.”

To learn more about Xylitol click here: Pet Poison Hotline-Xylitol

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