Xylitol Poisoning 101 in Dogs and Cats

Have you ever heard of xylitol? It’s an artificial sweetener used in many candies, gums, and other products like toothpaste. It’s okay for humans but toxic for animals! Your London, ON veterinarian tells you more below.

Symptoms

The symptoms of xylitol poisoning can come on in as little as 30 minutes after ingestion. They include lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and—without quick treatment—seizures, coma, and even death.

Treatment

Take your pet to the emergency room if you know or suspect that they’ve eaten something containing xylitol. The stomach may be flushed, or your vet may administer activated charcoal to absorb the remaining toxin in the gut. As a pet recovers, fluid therapy to replace water and electrolyte levels may be needed. Oxygen supplementation and other medical methods might even be necessary in severe cases.

Prevention

Prevent xylitol poisoning in the first place by restricting your pet’s access to any sweet treats. Don’t leave goodies lying about on the counter, where a pet could swipe them down. Check the ingredients list on common human foods (like peanut butter) that you may try and give to your pet.

Learn more about xylitol by calling your veterinary clinic London, ON for help.