Common sweetener can kill pets

Animal Welfare Specialist
Cathy has worked in the animal welfare field for more than 25 years. As a Director of Public Relations for local and national animal welfare agencies, Cathy developed and managed public relations programs, wrote press materials, and prepared staff to handle media interviews on animal issues.

My veterinarian told me today that three of her canine patients had died recently from xylitol toxicity. “That’s never happened before,” she said. “I don’t have three dogs that die all year from something like that.”

Xylitol is a popular sugar substitute used in many human food products, especially in diabetic foods. It looks and tastes similar to sugar and has been recognized for helping to reduce cavities and improve dental hygiene.

But apparently, it should come with a bold ole’ warning sign to keep away from pets.

Just a small amount of xylitol though can cause adverse effects in as little as 30 minutes after ingestion. According to the ASPCA, dogs can experience a dramatic drop in blood sugar, vomit, become lethargic, and can have difficulty standing or walking. Some develop seizures, internal hemorrhaging, and suffer from liver failure. As few as two or three sticks of xylitol gum could be toxic to a 20-pound dog.

Some of the products include:

Health and Beauty products: Some toothpastes, oral rinses, nasal sprays, oral spray vitamins, and whitening strips

Foods: Sugar-free chewing gums, mints, jellies and jams, candy, baked goods, baking mixes, sugar substitutes/sweeteners.

Medications: Nicorette gum, other oral smoking cessation products, Probiotica, DenaShield Tabs, Colostrum Chewables, Flintstones Children’s Vitamins, other multi-vitamins, Beano liquid/drops, Mobi oral suspension (Meloxicam), Neurotinin Oral Solution (Gabapentin, (Zegrid (Omeprazole).

This is not a comprehensive list. Read the labels of all suger-free candies and gums and other products and don’t leave them within reach of pets. This would be a terrible way to lose a beloved pet.

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