Pet Care : dogs
Xylitol, an artifical sweetener that is thought to prevent cavities in human, is turning up as a potent toxin for dogs. Cases of xylitol toxicity have been increasing each year, according to the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 2004, there were 70 cases, 2005 brought 170 cases, and so far in 2006 there have been 114 cases.
Xylitol is being found in more products, which may explain the increase in the number of cases. It is a common ingredient in gums that advertise dental benefits.
Clinical symptoms may appear within 30 minutes of ingestion and include depression, stumbling or lack of coordination, and seizures. These symptoms are caused by a sudden drop in blood sugar levels. There seems to be a link between xylitol ingestion and liver failure with associated blood clotting disorders.
If you have any products in your home that contain xylitol, make sure that they are kept out of reach of your dogs. It was initially thought that large quantities of xylitol were required to cause a toxic reaction, but it is now being found that even small amounts may be toxic.
Please note that this information does not replace professional veterinary care. It is solely for educational purposes. Your pet's medical condition should be evaluated by a veterinarian before any medical decisions are implemented. If there is a potentially life-threatening emergency involving your pet, take your pet to a veterinarian or veterinary facility immediately.