Xylitol Toxicity in Pets

Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in many candies and gums, is one of the most dangerous food substances out there for our four-legged friends. Here, your Sun Prairie, WI veterinarian tells you about the symptoms and treatment for xylitol poisoning, as well as how to prevent episodes.


The symptoms of xylitol poisoning usually reveal themselves within 30 minutes ingestion. They include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, and—without treatment—coma and death. It only takes a small amount of xylitol to do serious damage, so rush your pet to the emergency room if you see them ingest a product containing the sweetener.


Activated charcoal may be given to slow the poison’s absorption in the stomach. Vomiting may be induced to rid your pet’s system of the toxin, and fluid therapy and electrolyte replacement might be necessary to return your pet to full health. In addition, follow-up appointments may need to be scheduled with your Sun Prairie, WI vet to check on your pet’s recovery.


It’s much easier to prevent an episode of xylitol poisoning entirely. All you have to do is restrict your pet’s access to the substance! Never leave it on countertops or tables within pets’ reach.