Schertz Animal Hospital’s Blog
The 9-1-1 on Xylitol Dangers for Pets
Many of us know that chocolate is toxic to pets, especially to our dogs. But there is a relatively new ingredient in many products that you might not even know about. This sugar substitute, called Xylitol, is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, and even death, if not treated aggressively and quickly.
Schertz Animal Hospital explores Xylitol dangers, how to recognize the signs of toxicity, and where to find Xylitol in your home.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a naturally occuring substance that is being used as a sugar substitute. Although it has been around for decades, it’s popularity is recently increasing due to its low glycemic index and use in preventing dental cavities in people.
Being lower on the glycemic index makes Xylitol useful for human diabetics and people on low carbohydrate diets. Research has shown that Xylitol helps reduce the formation of plaque, inhibits dental cavities, and stimulates the production of saliva.
Products that commonly contain Xylitol are:
- Sugar free gum
- Peanut butter
- Breath mints
- Baked goods
- Pudding snacks
- Cough syrup
- Children’s vitamins and supplements
Recently, Xylitol has also been added to certain prescription and over the counter medications, such as nasal sprays, laxatives, allergy medications, digestive aids, and sleep aids.
Although perfectly safe for human consumption, Xylitol dangers abound when it comes to pets. In dogs, it causes a massive insulin response which leads to a rapid and profound decrease in blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If not treated, Xylitol toxicity can cause liver failure, seizures and death.
The toxic dose of Xylitol in dogs has been reported to be 50 milligrams (mg) of Xylitol per pound of body weight, and and the higher the dose ingested, the higher the risk of liver failure. Every brand of gum and food product has a different amount of Xylitol, so it’s important to determine exactly how much has been ingested.
If you suspect your pet has ingested any amount of Xylitol, it’s imperative to seek veterinary treatment immediately. Symptoms of Xylitol toxicity appear quickly – within 15-30 minutes of consumption. Signs of hypoglycemia may include any or all of the following:
- Lack of coordination
- Depression or lethargy
Treatment of Xylitol Toxicity
Treatment depends upon the symptoms presenting. Blood work needs to be done regularly to determine potassium levels and blood glucose levels. Your dog will require hospitalization in all cases, to monitor clinical signs as they progress. Blood sugar monitoring, IV fluids, dextrose supplementation, liver protectants, and any other supportive care needed will be the most common forms of treatment. Additional blood work will also be needed to monitor blood sugar and liver function.
The prognosis is generally good for those dogs who have not yet developed clinical signs or who have mild hypoglycemia that is quickly reversed. If liver failure or a bleeding disorder develops, the prognosis is poor. If the dog lapses into a coma, the prognosis is very poor.
Xylitol Dangers Prevention
Of course, prevention of Xylitol toxicity is preferred to treatment! Make sure all products in your home containing Xylitol are out of reach of your pets.
If you have any questions or concerns about Xylitol dangers and your pets, please contact us. We’re here to support you and your pets in great health, always.
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This is the only place I trust with my girl. They always take great care of my Yorkie. — A Byrd
We can't say enough about Schertz Animal Hospital. Dr. Rodriguez and the whole staff are wonderful and so caring. — P. Ring
This is a wonderful animal hospital. Will highly recommend them for anyone who loves and cares about their pets. — B. Lewis
Have taken our pets there for years. Dr. R. Is the best. We appreciate him and the rest of his hard working staff. — C. Yeary
These are our first pets and first ever Vet visit. We are very pleased with the attention, knowledge, and quality of care. Very pleased with our decision!. — J. Tibbetts
We love the care the staff provides, they are big enough to provide services without having to wait long for an appointment, but still make you feel like family. Love this place. — T. Ha
Took my cat in today on an emergency basis and they were so helpful and kind. They have done what they can for him. I have a dog too and this is the only place I will be taking her to. Best vet we have ever been too. — L. Hamilton
Exceptional customer service and great care of my Sammy! Dr. Rodriguez "Dr. R" is the BEST! — A. Garcia
We absolutely love Schertz Animal Hospital for our puppy! They are so caring and take good care of our Bella. — P. Willard
The entire staff is friendly to me and my Bradley. I feel that my Bradley is in good hands. — A. Cano
Love Schertz Animal Hospital. The staff are all friendly and helpful. Dr. Mossburg is thorough and caring. We have taken 3 of our rescues there. Most recently our 7 year old Rottweiler we rescued. They have always taken excellent care of them. — A. Peterson
Schertz Animal Hospital really cares about your pet. They know their stuff. They been in Schertz for many years. All the doctors really know how to relate to us as they are pet owners too. I highly recommend them for all your Veterinary needs. You won't be sorry. SAH thank you for taking such great care of my Service Dog. — K. Duchess
Schertz Animal Hospital is a group of some of the most selfless people. They have been so attentive and caring to my pups, literally dropping everything to care for their needs. I am blessed and ever so grateful to have this team a part of my little family's life. Alley and Noah looooove you all! Y'all are the bomb dot com! Keep on keepin' on ladies and gents! — A.H
Dr. Mossberg and his assistant, Terri, are outstanding! Rusty can be difficult and they are so patient and kind. My husband and I really appreciate that they go the extra mile! Thank you!!! — T. & M. Taylor
I am totally satisfied with the practices, procedures, and service currently in place and have no recommendation for improvement. — R. Schutte
The front staff are awesome and have great attitudes. Very friendly and approachable. — R. & D. Carter
This is the one place that I feel completely safe with taking my Jasmine too. All of you take good care of her. Thank you. — C. & J. Smith
I appreciate being able to walk in (I did call first) with no appt. The doctor was booked but he still took care of my pet. Kudos to Dr. Rodriguez!! — S. & C. Mag
You are doing everything super good!!! Keep it up!!!! — W. Williams
I have never had a vet office that treats its patients so well, and throughly explains all diagnosis and possible treatment. I have always bragged on this office and will continue to do so. — M. & N. Heller
Always professional, clean atmosphere. — J. Wilson
Love how Dr Rodriguez has a passion for what he does - it makes a huge difference! The staff is friendly and caring - thank you. — Anonymous
Very nice facility that is well kept up. Whenever one of my pets needs medical care,I know I can rely on Schertz Animal Hospital to provide excellent care. — D. & R. Lanier
Dr. Rodriguez and his staff are always pleasant, caring and I feel very confident in the care given to all of our pets! :) — M. & J. Hild