Sugar Substitute can be Highly Poisonous to Dogs

January 4, 2014 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used in some sugar free gums, mouthwash, and a few other products. In humans, Xylitol has certain plaque reducing benefits, so you’re more likely to see it in sugar-free gums that claim extra dental benefits. The tricky part is that you can buy Xylitol in bulk, and some people use it to bake everything from muffins to pies, so be wary of having any sugar-free food within reach of your dogs.

In gum sweetened with Xylitol, as few as two sticks can be deadly to a dog. In humans, Xylitol is proven safe, but in dogs, Xylitol tricks the body into producing insulin like it would for real sugar. Blood sugar levels drop rapidly. Liver failure and/or seizures can result.

As a general safety rule, you may want to be cautious about keeping anything sugar-free out of reach of your dogs. It’s only Xylitol that is so immediately dangerous to dogs, but it’s not realistic to expect people know the ingredients of their sugar-free gum – so we say anything sugar-free should be stored with caution. If your pet consumes a product containing Xylitol, call us immediately.

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