Xylitol Poisoning in Pets

With Halloween and Trick-or-Treat night quickly approaching, xylitol poisoning becomes an even more prevalent danger. Learn more about this hazardous pet poison below as a Reynoldsburg veterinarian elaborates.

What Is Xylitol?

Xylitol is an artificial sugar that is often used in candy, gum, and certain baked goods. Xylitol is put into these products for humans’ benefit; it has less calories and may even help with dental health. However, xylitol is extremely toxic to pets. Most often, cases are reported in dogs, but the substance can easily harm cats as well.

What are the Symptoms of Poisoning?

A pet that’s eaten too much xylitol will exhibit low blood sugar, weakness, spasms, vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, and seizures. In most cases, symptoms appear after about 30 minutes and can last for hours depending on the amount ingested.

How Much Xylitol is Dangerous?

It doesn’t take much of a xylitol-sweetened product to be dangerous. A smaller animal—10 pounds or less—can be poisoned by as little as a stick and a half of gum or a few pieces of candy. If a pet decides to munch on an entire pack of xylitol-infused gum or candy bars, the symptoms could be severe.

What’s the Treatment?

The first thing to do if you see or suspect your pet has ingested xylitol is to rush her to your veterinary emergency room. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting to rid the body of the toxic substance. Fluid therapy, a sugar IV, and other care may be necessary as well. It’s very likely that your vet will need to see your pet for follow-up appointments to check her recovery.

How Can I Prevent Xylitol Poisoning?

Luckily, it’s not hard to prevent episodes of xylitol poisoning. Simply restrict your pet’s access to products containing xylitol, and don’t leave harmful substances out on kitchen counters or tables where pets could swipe them down.

Remember to keep your Reynoldsburg veterinarian’s phone number close by to call in the event of an emergency.

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