Xylitol Sugar Substitute Can Harm Dogs

With consumers dieting and looking to reduce sugar intake, a variety of products contain <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">xylitol, which is, explained the San Francisco Gate, a “plant-based sugar-alcohol sweetener.” Although a dietary benefit for some, xylitol is toxic to dogs.

Xylitol can be found in sugar-free gum and vitamins, baked foods, and even some oral care consumer products, explained the SF Gate.

In small amounts, the sugar substitute, xylitol, is actually a toxic substance when ingested by dogs, causing a serious drop in sugar that can be life-threatening, said the SF Gate.

At lower doses, xylitol can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar. Higher doses can lead to liver failure and even death, said the SF Gate. Reduced blood sugar in dogs manifests in the dogs acting weak, suffering seizures, and experiencing problems walking, noted the SF Gate. Liver failure symptoms include “vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, bruising, or jaundice, said the SF Gate, which explained that when dogs are jaundiced, their gums or the whites of their eyes are yellow. Symptoms can manifest in as little as 30 to 60 minutes and as long as up to 12 hours following ingestion; however, liver failure symptoms could take up to three days to appear.

Pet Health and Care points out that just one piece of chewing gum containing xylitol can be deadly to dogs and can also lead to vomiting, hypoglycemia, heavy bleeding, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and liver failure, in addition to the other adverse responses mentioned. Medical attention is generally required.

<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/diseases">Liver damage symptoms can also include dehydrating diarrhea, dark or bloody feces, loss of appetite and blood, and increased thirst and urination, said Pet Health and Care, which said that treatment must be immediate to prevent liver failure and death.

Pet Nutrition Info pointed out that ingesting very small amounts of the Toxin Substance led to death in dogs, regardless of the measures to save the pet. Amounts ingested were not always accurate predictors of death since very small amounts had fatal outcomes in some cases.

While there is no data on Xylitol and cats, Pet Nutrition Info pointed out that cats tend to be far more sensitive to Toxins than dogs. But, dogs tend to have a sweet tooth, a sweeter tooth than cats, said Suite 101, which can lead to the pets looking for and ingesting foods made with the sweetener.

There is no antidote for Xylitol poisoning in dogs, said Suite 101; however, inducing vomiting—under the advice and direction of a veterinarian—is recommended in some cases prior to transporting the dog to the vet’s office.

Of note, some pet mouthwashes and oral pet care products contain xylitol, such as Aquadent, said Suite 101, which noted that while these products are allegedly safe for pets at prescribed levels and under veterinary supervision; label directions should be followed carefully.

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