Xylitol is a very sweet sugar alcohol that is great for people (zero calorie, anti-cavity). It is toxic and potentially lethal to your pet and exposure should be avoided at all cost. In dogs, toxic doses can produce three results: 1. A dangerous and persistent drop in blood glucose, 2. Damage to liver cells, and 3. Uncontrolled bleeding from the inability to clot blood.
The amount needed to create toxic and lethal effects varies from dog to dog, but there are a few general rules of thumb that have been developed over the past few years by toxicologists. A 20lb dog could receive a toxic dose in as little as a single piece of typical xylitol-containing gum. Initial signs may include vomiting, weakness, collapse and seizures and can develop within 30 minutes after ingestion of a toxic dose. Some signs will not be evident until 12-24 hours after ingestion.
Some common household items that may contain Xylitol are: sugar-free gum, some liquid formulations of human medications, mints, nicotine gum, chewable vitamins, oral-care products, baked goods, peanut butter, diabetic candies ad others! If you suspect or know that your dog ingested any product that contains xylitol, call us or bring your pet to us immediately.