Dog owners should know that xylitol can be toxic to dogs, even when the relatively small amounts from candies are eaten. In humans, xylitol doesn’t cause the pancreas to release insulin (and is even safe for diabetics, as it’s glycemic index is less than 1/10 of regular sugar). That can lead to hypoglycemia, an extreme reduction in the amount of blood sugar. This rapid release of insulin causes a rapid and profound decrease in the level of blood sugar (hypoglycemia), an effect that occurs within 10-60 minutes of eating the xylitol. The "toxic doses" of xylitol for a 10lb dog, 30lb dog, and a 70lb dog are shown in the table and the picture below. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs. If the dog lapses into a coma, the prognosis is very poor. Interestingly, it seems that while some breeds are greatly affected by xylitol, others don’t have a problem, but more research is being done to obtain more information. However, there are many foods humans are capable of consuming that are dangerous for dogs to eat. It may be beneficial to a human diabetic or someone watching their weight, but it can be deadly for dogs. In some cases, xylitol can be deadly to dogs. or liquids. When xylitol is ingested by humans it does not impact the release of insulin from the pancreas but in dogs its the opposite. Xylitol Toxicity in dogs After a dog consumes a significant amount of xylitol, there is a massive release of insulin from the pancreas. When cells take too much sugar from the blood (in response to increased insulin levels), the pets blood sugar can drop dangerously lowa condition known as hypoglycemia. If your dog has just eaten xylitol but has not yet developed any clinical signs, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to prevent further absorption, depending on what your dog's blood glucose level is. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. In many countries it has been approved for use in oral care products, pharmaceuticals and as a food additive. But for dogs, xylitol poisoning is a major problem, according to Ahna Brutlag, DVM, associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. However, though xylitol is very beneficial to humans, it’s not safe for pets, especially dogs. In humans and dogs, blood sugar levels are determined by the amount of insulin released from the pancreas into the bloodstream. In dogs, xylitol has the polar opposite effect. In all cases, your dog will require hospitalization for blood sugar monitoring, dextrose administration, intravenous fluids, liver protectants, and any other supportive care that may be needed. Again, if your dog ingests xylitol (or any of the above mentioned foods) get help immediately. Xylitol is classified as a five-carbon sugar alcohol which has many uses. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that was first discovered in the late 19th century and was first used as a safer alternative to sugar for diabetic patients. Contributors: Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT, Associate Director of Veterinary Services, Pet Poison Helpline, *Pet Poison Helpline, is an animal poison control service available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. Diagnosing Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs Your dog will undergo a complete blood profile, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a … It is important to get treatment for your dog as quickly as possible. Fast and aggressive treatment by your veterinarian is essential to effectively reverse any toxic effects and prevent the development of severe problems. Xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas in humans. With respect to oral health, research has shown that xylitol helps reduce the formation of plaque, inhibits dental cavities, and stimulates the production of saliva. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs, leading to hypoglycemia and liver failure. The ingestion of xylitol or xylitol-containing products causes a rapid release of the hormone insulin, causing a sudden decrease in the dog's blood glucose. Chemically, it is a sugar alcohol, and found naturally in berries, plums, corn, oats, mushrooms, lettuce, trees, and some other fruits. With other common brands of gum which contain 1 g/piece of gum, only 2 pieces would result in severe hypoglycemia, while 10 pieces can result in liver failure. The fact that xylitol is dangerous for your dog might make you hesitant to use it. Being lower on the glycemic index makes xylitol useful for diabetics or people on low carbohydrate diets. Untreated, this hypoglycemia can be life-threatening. We’re committed to keeping clients and staff safe during COVID-19 with NEW admittance and check-out processes. As there is a large range of xylitol in each different brand and flavor of gum, it is important to identify whether a toxic amount has been ingested. The most common source of xylitol poisoning that Pet Poison Helpline* gets calls about comes from sugar-free gum. Although xylitol is safe for human consumption (and known to have antimicrobial properties, retain moisture, and prevent cavities), it can be fatal when ingested by dogs. Xylitol is extremely toxic to our pups. 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