Since 2004, the ASPCAs Animal Poison Control Center has been warning that xylitol, a sweetener found in many sugar-free candies, gum and products including nut butters, toothpaste and throat lozenges, can cause potentially life-threatening problems in our dogs.
In most mammals, xylitol has no significant effect on insulin levels, but in dogs, xylitol stimulates a rapid, dose-dependent insulin release that can result in profound hypoglycemia. Symptoms could include a sudden drop in blood sugar resulting in depression, loss of coordination, seizures and live failure. These symptoms can occur quite rapidly often within 30 minutes and a quick trip to the vet would be advisable Activated charcoal does not appreciably bind xylitol and is not recommended. If hypoglycemia develops, it should be managed with dextrose IV boluses and/or constant-rate infusions. In one study, 62.5% of dogs with signs of liver injury died or were euthanized despite aggressive veterinary intervention. So the moral of the story – keep xylitol products out of reach of your pooch!
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