What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly found in sugar-free gum, sugar-free candies and even some brands of toothpaste. While safe for human consumption, in dogs xylitol is metabolized differently than in people and can cause low blood sugar, liver failure, bleeding, and even death. If your dog ingests a gum, candy, or other product containing xylitol, he should be taken to the vet immediately for decontamination procedures.
If xylitol has already started to be absorbed by the body, early signs of toxicity include vomiting and lethargy and may progress to seizures or collapse. Even a tiny dose - as few as 1-2 sticks of sugar-free gum - can cause clinical signs of toxicity. Xylitol toxicity is best treated through immediate treatment. If you have sugar-free products in your home, make sure to keep them stored away from your pet. Xylitol has also recently been added to sugar-free peanut butters, so please be sure to check labels closely to avoid a potentially deadly mistake!