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Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs-Veterinary News Network
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Xylitol, a popular artificial sweetener.


Giving your pet sugar-free products can be harmful. [1] This particular information is about the sugar substitute Xylitol [2][3][4][5], which is used to replace sugar in sugar-free chewing gum, candy and baked goods [6] which are labeled sugar-free. The labels should list the ingredients-reading them is important! [7]

In dogs, xylitol can produce hypoglycemia, [8] which can be life-threatening for both diabetics and non-diabetics. The compound in dogs stimulates insulin secretion more than glucose itself. Xylitol has also been proven to stimulate insulin production in humans; it does so much stronger for dogs. It is also possible for xylitol to cause seizures and acute liver failure. This can happen rapidly-sometimes within 30 minutes of ingesting large amounts of xylitol; smaller amounts may not cause symptoms for up to 12 hours.

Previously, it was believed that only large amounts of the substance were harmful. [9]

From US-FDA:[10]

February 18, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning consumers about the risks associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol by dogs and ferrets. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol approved for use in many common products, including sugar-free baked goods, candy, oral hygiene products, and chewing gum.

Xylitol can be found in many over-the-counter drugs such as chewable vitamins and throat lozenges and sprays. It can also be purchased in bulk bags for use in home baking. These products are intended only for human use.

FDA is aware of complaints involving dogs that experienced illness associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol. Xylitol is safe for humans but it can be harmful to dogs and ferrets.

The FDA reports included clinical signs such as a sudden drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), seizures and liver failure. If you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol, some signs to look for are depression, loss of coordination and vomiting. The signs of illness may occur within minutes to days of ingesting xylitol. Owners should consult their veterinarian or pet poison control center immediately for advice if they know or suspect that their pet has ingested a human product containing xylitol.

From JAVMA News:[7]

October 1, 2006

"Our concern used to be mainly with products that contain xylitol as one of the first ingredients," said Dr. Eric Dunayer, who specializes in toxicology at the center. "However, we have begun to see problems developing from ingestions of products with lesser amounts of this sweetener." Dr. Dunayer said that with smaller concentrations of xylitol, the onset of clinical signs could be delayed as much as 12 hours after ingestion."

Note: when Dr. Dunayer speaks of the first ingredients, food labeling laws require that the main ingredients of products be listed first. A good example would be fruit-flavored drinks: when reading the label, you can see just how little actual fruit juice they contain. Common items like macaroni and cheese must list the main ingredient (macaroni) first; if there was more cheese in the food item than macaroni, it would need to be referred to as cheese and macaroni. Looking at various prepared pasta meals, you see a lot of them labeled spaghetti and meatballs--because there's more spaghetti in the product than meatballs. Packages of meat and gravy have more meat than gravy in them; packages of gravy and meat have more gravy than meat in them.

Some of the products which contain xylitol as an artificial sweetener are shown in the tables below. We will be adding to this list as we research products by brand names containing xylitol.

Health & Beauty Products Containing Xylitol:Edit

Food Products Containing Xylitol:Edit

OTC Medications Containing Xylitol:Edit

Prescription Medications Containing Xylitol:Edit


Those of you who use compounding pharmacies for medications other than insulin might want to have a word with the pharmacy before having a prescription filled. These pharmacy references from a Google search "compounding xylitol" appear to indicate that in some cases, the use of xylitol is not uncommon. [71][72][73]

My dog and xylitolEdit

(The following was posted by another user-)

"My dog Rah and I have had our bouts with xylitol. This stuff is lethal. It is scary that it is allowed to be in any products at all and NOTHING containing this is allowed in my house. I am careful because my dog is extremely mischivous. She has gotten into this stuff 4 times!!!!

"The first time she stole the last piece of Orbit gum out of my boyfriends daughters purse. (thank god it was the last piece and not a full package) Then she ate a USED Crest Whitestrip and almost died again another time. Then she got into the garbage after I realised someone was chewing Orbit in my house and had a freak out. (I probably caused this if they had continued to chew she wouldn't have been able to get it) but the other day she picked up another USED piece of gum at the park and I thought for sure her liver would give out.

"I am so scared and focused on this stuff that now I am going to not let my dog out of the house without a muzzle. I didn't want to have to do this but I don't want to lose my dog. Obviously even when I am careful and aware of it she can still get it. She just loves anything minty. It is truly a problem, I am consantly watching everything she does. My family thinks I am totally paranoid but obviously I am not. Please tell everyone you know!!!!!!!! THIS STUFF KILLS BEST FRIENDS."

ReferencesEdit

  1. Poison Control Center-Xylitol-Valentine Treats. ASPCA.
  2. Xylitol. Wikipedia.
  3. What Is Xylitol?. Xylitol.org.
  4. Xylitol. Chemistry.org.
  5. Definition of Xylitol. Medterms.com.
  6. Brownie Mix. Sweetlife-Australia.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Cases of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs Rise. JAVMA News (1 October 2006).
  8. SUMMARY OF TOXICOLOGICAL DATA OF CERTAIN FOOD ADDITIVES-Xylitol. InChem.
  9. Sweetener Xylitol can be Toxic to Dogs. AVMA News (1 September 2004).
  10. FDA Warns on the Dangers of Xylitol Ingestion in Dogs and Ferrets. US Food and Drug Administration (18 February 2011).
  11. Spry Toothpaste. Xlear Inc..
  12. Spry Children's Tooth Gel. Xlear Inc..
  13. Squigle Toothpaste.
  14. Epic Toothpaste.
  15. Xylibrush Toothpaste.
  16. Vita Myr Zinc Plus Toothpaste with Xylitol.
  17. Vita Myr Children's Toothpaste with Xylitol.
  18. Tooth Builder Toothpaste.
  19. What Is Xylitol?. Tom's of Maine.
  20. Spry Oral Rinse. Xlear Inc..
  21. Spry Rain Oral Mist. xlear Inc..
  22. Epic Oral Rinse.
  23. Xlear Nasal Wash. Xlear Inc..
  24. Oral Vitamins. Xylitolworks.
  25. Micro Spray Oral Vitamins. Xylitolworks.com.
  26. Crest White Strips-Premium.
  27. Crest White Strips-Professional.
  28. Crest White Strips Classic, Premium Plus, Renewal.
  29. Gum. Xlear Inc..
  30. Unique Sweet Gum-Various Flavors.
  31. Xponent Gum-Various Flavors. Xylitolworks.com.
  32. B-Fresh Gum. Xylitolworks.com.
  33. XyliChew Gum-Various Flavors.
  34. Bayho Gum-Various Flavors
  35. Halispheres Gum. Breath Rx.
  36. ElimiTaste Smoke Screen Gum.
  37. Dr. Ken's/ Dr. Martens Gum.
  38. Trident Gum-FAQ's.,
  39. Orbit Gum-Xylitol.
  40. Spry Mints.
  41. Unique Sweet Mints-Various Flavors.
  42. Smint. Wikipedia.
  43. Smart Sweet Jams.
  44. SparXCandies-Various Flavors.
  45. Sweetlife-Australia.
  46. Brownie Mix. Sweetlife-Australia.
  47. Xylosweet Sweeteners. Xlear Inc..
  48. Sweeteners. Sweetlife-Australia.
  49. Unique Sweet.
  50. Smart Sweet. Xylitolworks.com.
  51. Smart Sweet Xylitol Maple Syrup.
  52. Smart Sweet Xylitol Honey.
  53. Nicorette Gum. Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference.
  54. Nicorette Polacrilex. Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference.
  55. Probiotica. Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference.
  56. Lactobacillus Reuteri. Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference.
  57. Colostrum Chewables.
  58. Flintstones' Vitamins. Flintstones' Vitamins.com.
  59. Beano Liquid. Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference.
  60. Alpha Galactosidase Enzyme Liquid/Drops. Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference.
  61. Mobic Oral Suspension. Rx.com-Physicians' Desk Reference.
  62. Meloxicam. Rx.com-Physicians' Desk Reference.
  63. Neurotonin/Gabapentin. Veterinary Partner.
  64. Xylitol Warning. DVM 360 (May 2008).
  65. Greco, Deborah. FAQ's About Diabetes in Cats. BD Diabetes.
  66. Neurotonin/Gabapentin. Veterinary Partner.
  67. Xylitol Warning. DVM 360 (May 2008).
  68. Greco, Deborah. FAQ's About Diabetes in Cats. BD Diabetes.
  69. Zegerid.com.
  70. Zegerid OTC-complete product labeling.
  71. Xylitol Flavoring Syrup for Prescriptions.
  72. Xylitol. MartinAvenuePharmacy.com.
  73. FlavorSweet-Xylitol.


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