Xylitol Poisoning in Pets:
“The level of toxicity of xylitol in pets is generally mild to severe, depending on the dose ingested.”
Common signs of xylitol poisoning include: Weakness, lethargy, collapse, vomiting, tremoring, seizures, jaundice, malaise, black-tarry stool (also known as melena), coma and death.
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is extracted from certain fruits and vegetables (Berries, oats, beets, cane sugar, birch and corn cob). It’s becoming a common sugar substitute and is found in many foods including sugar-free gum (Trident, Ice Breakers, Orbit, Nicorette) candy, gelatin snacks, pudding and baked goods. Xylitol is also found in certain vitamin supplements and in toothpaste and oral rinses. Xylitol is estimated to be 1000 times more toxic to dogs than chocolate.
How many of you feed your animal fish oil supplements thinking it’s good for them? Well, read that label! Make SURE it does not contain xylitol.
It’s sweet to the taste, fights plaque in humans and has a low glycemic index. Xylitol is promoted for humans with diabetes problems. I must say that when people tell me that they are using xylitol as a sugar substitute and I muscle test to see if it’s OK for them to eat, I usually get a ‘no’ answer. The same goes for most fish oil supplements. I wonder if there is a connection here. I wonder if people have some of the same side-effects as dogs and cats have when they ingest xylitol.
Of course the cheapest source of raw materials is corn cob—so that’s GMO! And the way they extract the xylan from the cob is through sugar hydrogenation using a nickel-aluminum alloy. (Hello—can you see the potential for heavy metal poisoning and Alzheimer’s here?)
The thing is, xylitol is highly poisonous to your pets! It can cause symptoms within 10-15 minutes after ingesting it. Humans absorb the sweetener slowly but dogs don’t. Just a small amount of xylitol can cause a dangerous insulin surge and a rapid drop in their blood sugar. It can also cause liver necrosis (this means that the liver actually rots away!) and liver failure. And it only takes a single piece of gum or candy to do it!
If you have xylitol in your house, be sure to lock it up like you lock up poison in a cabinet to keep it away from children. If your pet ingests this stuff, call the veterinarian immediately and contact the poison control hotline.
Helpful Links and References for Xylitol:
- Pet Poison Hotline: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/xylitol/
- List of Items containing Xylitol: http://lhvsinc.com/index.php/laurel-hill-blog/xylitol-toxicity/
- The Downside of Xylitol: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/xylitol-not-as-sweet-as-its-cracked-up-to-be/