xylitol and dogs

Upon consumption, xylitol is directly absorbed into the bloodstream. The dose of xylitol that can cause hypoglycemia in the dog has been reported between 50 milligrams (mg) of xylitol per pound of body weight (100 mg per kg). Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. It’s clear than humans can consume many foods that dogs cannot—xylitol isn’t any different. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs. A presumptive diagnosis of xylitol poisoning is made if you know or suspect that the dog ate something containing xylitol, and there are symptoms of hypoglycemia. If you personally use products containing xylitol, make sure they are stored safely out of reach of your pets. Xylitol This naturally produced sweetener is found in many “sugar-free” items such as ice cream, candies, pastries, gums, yogurts, juices and more. But for dogs, xylitol poisoning is a major problem, according to Ahna Brutlag, DVM, associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. Xylitol is a sweetener that's gaining in popularity because of its dental benefits for people as well as its suitability as a sugar substitute for people with diabetes. Untreated, this hypoglycemia can be life-threatening. With respect to oral health, research has shown that xylitol helps reduce the formation of plaque, inhibits dental cavities, and stimulates the production of saliva. Xylitol is a common sugar substitute that can be toxic to dogs in even small amounts and it can be fatal. (In as little as 15 minutes, the blood sugar of a dog that has eaten gum containin… Xylitol can also cause liver damage in dogs. If your dog has just eaten xylitol but has not yet developed any clinical signs, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to prevent further absorption, depending on what your dog's blood glucose level is. We’re committed to keeping clients and staff safe during COVID-19 with NEW admittance and check-out processes. Blood work should be monitored frequently to make sure that blood sugar and liver function remain normal. The prognosis is good for dogs that are treated before clinical signs develop, or for dogs that develop uncomplicated hypoglycemia that is quickly reversed. When cells take too much sugar from the blood (in response to increased insulin levels), the pets blood sugar can drop dangerously lowa condition known as hypoglycemia. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute in many human products, including many dental products as it reduces the development of cavities and plaque. If dogs ingest xylitol, they run the risk of going into hypoglycemic shock. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning develop rapidly, usually within 15-30 minutes of consumption. Higher doses (> 0.5 g/kg) of xylitol have been associated with acute hepatic necrosis. Additional information can be found online at, Lack of coordination or difficulty walking or standing. Chemically, it is a sugar alcohol, and found naturally in berries, plums, corn, oats, mushrooms, lettuce, trees, and some other fruits. Though safe for humans, xylitol can be deadly to dogs and other pets. This triggers an excessive release of insulin, resulting in the removal of dangerous amounts of sugar from the bloodstream, or canine hypoglycemia. In dogs, doses > 0.1 g/kg are considered toxic and result in profound, sudden problems. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that was first discovered in the late 19th century and was first used as a safer alternative to sugar for diabetic patients. Brutlag says ingesting xylitol causes a rapid and massive insulin release in dogs, which will manifest itself outwardly to a pet owner as acute weakness, staggering, and vomiting. In severe cases, liver cells can die in large numbers, and the pet may develo… Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar replacement with many health benefits, including the prevention of issues such as cavities and ear infections. Xylitol is about as sweet as sucrose, but contains only about two-thirds of the calories. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs. If clinical signs have developed, treatment will be based on the symptoms that are being shown. Xylitol consumption is considered harmless to people but is known to cause life-threatening toxicoses in dogs. Do not share any food that may contain xylitol with your pets. In dogs, xylitol has the polar opposite effect. But in animals like dogs, xylitol quickly is absorbed in the bloodstream, which causes a potent release of insulin from the pancreas. However, when non-primate species like dogs eat something containing xylitol, the xylitol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas. Signs of hypoglycemia may include any or all of the following: In severe cases, the dog may develop seizures or liver failure. In many countries it has been approved for use in oral care products, pharmaceuticals and as a food additive. As there is a large range of xylitol in each different brand and flavor of gum, it is important to identify whether a toxic amount has been ingested. Xylitol is safe for use in people, although like most sugar alcohols, it may have a mild laxative effect when eaten in large amounts or when first introduced to a diet. Minimal amounts of it can even lead to seriously dangerous consequences, namely liver failure, seizures and declines in blood sugar. It may be beneficial to a human diabetic or someone watching their weight, but it can be deadly for dogs. Again, if your dog ingests xylitol (or any of the above mentioned foods) get help immediately. Xylitol is Deadly to Dogs Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar replacement with many health benefits, including the prevention of issues such as cavities and ear infections. Bigger amounts of xylitol can generally trigger more intense effects. In dogs, xylitol causes a strong release of insulin, the hormone responsible for allowing glucose to enter cells. Though safe for humans to consume, even in large quantities, it’s extremely toxic to dogs. You can prevent xylitol poisoning by keeping items containing the ingredient away from pets. When xylitol is ingested by humans it does not impact the release of insulin from the pancreas but in dogs its the opposite. In dogs, xylitol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and results in a large insulin release, which triggers the symptoms mentioned above. It's innocuous for people, but actually severely poisonous to canines. That can lead to hypoglycemia, an extreme reduction in the amount of blood sugar. In humans, xylitol doesn’t cause the pancreas to release insulin (and is even safe for diabetics, as it’s glycemic index is less than 1/10 of regular sugar). Although xylitol might sound a little like sorbitol, its effects on dogs are entirely different. Learn more. No. Dosages of xylitol over ~75100 mg/kg (3445 mg/lb) have been associated with hypoglycemia in dogs. Xylitol poisoning in dogs most commonly occurs as a result of dogs eating chewing gum, specifically the sugar-free variety. Xylitol is very dangerous for dogs. Contributors: Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT, Associate Director of Veterinary Services, Pet Poison Helpline, *Pet Poison Helpline, is an animal poison control service available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. If your dog has ingested xylitol, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center immediately. This rapid release of insulin causes a rapid and profound decrease in the level of blood sugar (hypoglycemia), an effect that occurs within 10-60 minutes of eating the xylitol. This effect is not seen in people who eat xylitol. Since xylitol toxicity can cause both low blood glucose and low potassium levels, your veterinarian will perform blood work to determine whether these problems need to be treated. The … Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Some dogs ingesting xylitol at dosages >500 mg/kg (227 mg/lb) may develop severe hepatic insufficiency or failure, the mechanism of which is unknown. Hypoglycemic shock can happen anywhere from thirty minutes after ingestion up until twelve hours after ingestion. Know the signs and symptoms, and be ready to act quickly should your dog accidentally gobble up desserts, gum (even left on the street), or sugar-free peanut butter. Example products include sugar-free gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, pudding snacks, cough syrup, children's chewable or gummy vitamins and supplements, mouthwash, and toothpaste. That tragedy echoed an example which first reached us in May 2007 and reminds us that Xylitol has been known to be potentially toxic to dogs for a number of years now: While Xylitol is safe for humans, it can be harmful to dogs. Humans can safely consume it, but it’s deadly to dogs the same way alcohol or chocolate can be. Some brands of gum contain fairly small amounts of xylitol, and it would take up to 9 pieces of gum to result in severe hypoglycemia in a 45 pound (20 kg) dog, while 45 pieces would need to be ingested to result in liver failure. Xylitol is extremely toxic to our pups. Xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas in humans. In both humans and dogs, the level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. Within 15 to 20 minutes, they might even be comatose, she adds, and depending on the amount consumed, a dog can also experience liver failure from ingesting xylitol. Their bodies aren’t able to metabolize it the same as you and me, and as such is extremely dangerous for them. This occurs because xylitol may not be completely digested in the intestines until the digestive system adapts. Some brands reportedly contain as much as one gram in each piece. However, bigger breeds of dogs have shown to be affected by xylitol as much as other breeds. This, in turn, results in a dangerously low blood sugar level and symptoms such as weakness, trembling, seizures, collapse, and even death. With xylitol poisoning, it is imperative to calculate whether a toxic dose has been ingested. Xylitol poisoning can be fatal.It is one of the worst ingredients for dogs, outside grapes and raisins. In most mammals, xylitol has no significant effect on insulin levels, but in dogs, xylitol stimulates a rapid, dose-dependent insulin release that can result in profound hypoglycemia. Keep in mind that there are some veterinary products that contain small amounts of xylitol (e.g., gabapentin medication, mouthwashes). The "toxic doses" of xylitol for a 10lb dog, 30lb dog, and a 70lb dog are shown in the table and the picture below. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. or liquids. Xylitol is classified as a five-carbon sugar alcohol which has many uses. Even the smallest amount of xylitol can threaten your dog’s life, proving just how dangerous this substance is for dogs. Xylitol is also showing up in over-the-counter nasal sprays, laxatives, digestive aids, allergy medicines, and prescription human medications, especially those formulated as disintegrating drug tablets (sleep aids, pain relievers, antipsychotics, etc.) The first sign of xylitol ingestion is typically vomiting. If you’re unsure, but suspect your dog has ingested xylitol, watch for signs and symptoms, which can occur in the first 30 minutes of consumption. The compound doesnt affect glucose levels in people, but when ingested by dogs it can cause a dangerous surge of insulin. A substance called xylitol is making thousands of dog sick and even causing death, affecting more pets now than ever before, and it’s probably in your home right now. In all cases, your dog will require hospitalization for blood sugar monitoring, dextrose administration, intravenous fluids, liver protectants, and any other supportive care that may be needed. 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