Hoover, your six-month-old puppy, will consume anything that isn’t secured. You are aware that chocolate can be harmful to your dog, like many other dog owners. But you might not be aware that the repercussions could be fatal if Hoover gets his nose in your handbag and swallows a pack of sugarless chewing gum.
Xylitol, a type of sweetener referred to as sugar alcohol, is sometimes found in sugarless gum. Many goods and foods intended for human use include xylitol, but your pet may suffer terrible consequences from it.
Call your veterinarian, an urgent care facility, or an animal poison control center right away if you suspect your dog may have consumed a product containing xylitol.
Additionally, you may have heard or read news reports about dogs who have passed away or had severe illnesses after consuming items containing xylitol, also referred to as birch sugar or wood sugar.
What synthetic sweeteners are poisonous to dogs?
Naturally occurring xylitol is frequently collected from birch or corncobs and utilized as a sweetener in industrial items including toothpaste, gum, candy, and baked goods. Dogs can be poisoned by the sugar substitute xylitol, despite it being well tolerated in humans.
Canines quickly absorb xylitol after swallowing it. Vomiting can be observed in as little as 30 minutes, but complete symptoms can take up to 12 hours to manifest. Xylitol promotes the release of insulin in dogs, which can result in dangerously low blood sugar levels that cause drowsiness and loss of coordination. Dogs may eventually experience seizures or pass out if untreated. Xylitol has also been connected to liver failure in dogs after massive ingestions.
Xylitol is slowly absorbed in humans and doesn’t significantly raise insulin levels. It has less calories than sugar and the added advantage of reducing cavities and mouth germs. But when used in excessive doses, xylitol might have moderate side effects like diarrhea or flatulence.
Does aspartame make dogs sick?
Although it is entirely safe for humans, non-primate species (including dogs!) who consume it have a strong insulin release. Acute poisoning in dogs will result in two primary syndromes: acute hepatic necrosis and hypoglycemia (a life-threateningly low blood sugar level) (i.e., severe liver failure).
The following are signs of canine xylitol poisoning:
- Lethargy or weakness
- drunkenly walking
- Rapid collapse
- quaking or trembling
- a pounding heartbeat
- yellowed gums
- tarry-black stool
- irrational mentality
- Clotting issues
Keep calm first if you believe your dog was accidently poisoned by a sugar-free item. Check the product’s ingredients to check if xylitol was included after that. The basic rule is that something is going to be harmful if xylitol is included in the first 3 ingredients (generally listed in order of how much of each ingredient appears in the food or product).
*Always read the ingredient list if your dog eats something sugar-free. It should be noted that other sugars with similar names including sorbitol, maltitol, and erythritol are not toxic to dogs. Similar to stevia, dogs are not poisoned by other sugar-free products like saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, etc. It is not dangerous if your dog consumes one of these other sound-alikes. As long as you’re certain there isn’t any xylitol, there’s no need to worry.
Calculating if a hazardous dosage of xylitol has been consumed is crucial in cases of xylitol poisoning. Doses more than 0.1 g/kg are poisonous to dogs and cause severe, unexpected issues. Acute liver necrosis has been linked to xylitol dosages greater than 0.5 g/kg. The average amount of xylitol in many candies and gums, including as OrbitTM, TridentTM, and Ice BreakersTM, ranges from 2 mg to 1.0 grams per piece. It is unfortunately not always easy to compute a dangerous dose because not all sources are revealed by the firm (for example, how many grams of xylitol may be in each piece of gum).
Treatment for your dog’s toxic dose of xylitol includes the following steps:
- having your veterinarian check your blood sugar. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting if the condition is normal and the consumption was recent (within a few hours).
- A stat bolus of intravenous (IV) dextrose (sugar) and hospitalization are required if your dog has hypoglycemia. For a minimum of 12 to 18 hours, the patient will receive IV fluids with sugar supplementation (ex. dextrose). Your dog can go home if he can keep his blood sugar stable when the dextrose supplementation is gradually reduced.
- There is no need for your veterinarian to administer activated charcoal if they made your dog puke, so make sure they skip it (i.e., a black liquid product that binds up some poisons). With xylitol poisoning, charcoal is not necessary because it cannot consistently bond to the substance.
- Your veterinarian will advise hospitalizing your dog for IV fluids, dextrose supplementation, and symptomatic supportive care if a toxic dose was consumed and not vomited back up.
- Blood testing, including liver enzymes, electrolytes, and blood sugar, must be carefully monitored.
- The usage of liver protectants, such as SAMe, milk thistle, or n-acetylcysteine, is recommended if your dog consumed a dose of xylitol that was on the verge of becoming liver-toxic. The majority of dogs are prescribed liver protectants for several weeks, with frequent liver enzyme checks at your vet to be on the safe side.
When in doubt, seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian or an animal poison control center if you believe your dog consumed xylitol. They can calculate the amount of xylitol consumed and decide if it was toxic or not. Always make an effort to keep certain items or meals out of your pets’ reach.
Keep in mind that the sooner you identify the issue and seek veterinarian care, the less expensive and harmful it will be for your pet!
Your veterinarian is your finest resource for ensuring the health and wellbeing of your pets, therefore you should always visit or contact them if you have any questions or concerns.
Does stevia make dogs sick?
Food additives known as artificial sweeteners offer a sweet taste without the added calories of sugar. We’ve outlined the market’s most popular artificial sweeteners and their effects on animals below:
- ErythritolThis industrially generated sugar alcohol is a preferred option for adherents of the low-carb and ketogenic diets due to its adaptability. Erythritol is safe for dogs, according to studies.
- AspartameAspartame can be used in considerably lower doses because it is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Products containing aspartame can give pets a slight stomach ache.
- Sucralose, which is marketed under the trade name Splenda, works well in baked goods and is also present in diet drinks and other products. Although it is not hazardous to animals, there is evidence that excessive ingestion can cause digestive problems.
- Stevia is a well-liked sugar substitute made from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant, which is native to South America. Although stevia has not been proven to be hazardous to dogs in studies, consuming too much can result in diarrhea.
- Monk fruit as a sweetener
- Southeast Asia is the home of the little, spherical monk fruit, often referred to as lo han guo. The fruit’s extract is a popular option for people looking for a healthy substitute for sugar because it offers 150–200 times the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Animals are not poisoned by the monk fruit plant.
- The major component of Sweet’N Low is saccharine, which can be found in diet beverages, drink mixes, salad dressings, and canned fruits with the “light” label. Despite not being hazardous to pets, this chemical can cause stomach distress.
The Bottom Line
With the obvious exception of xylitol, sugar substitutes are generally harmless for pets, but artificially sweetened foods shouldn’t be part of a pet’s diet. It is recommended to give your pet high-quality, age-appropriate pet food in addition to a nutritious treat every now and then, like simply cooked vegetables or (pet-friendly) fresh fruit.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts if you have any more queries about artificial sweeteners and dogs.
Are dogs poisonous to Splenda?
This month, Splenda packets are allegedly being intentionally left in Kew Gardens, according to reports, in an effort to hurt dogs exercising in Forest Park.
A March 9 post on the Forest Park Barking Lot’s Facebook page said that there have been numerous reports of a mysterious person throwing packages into the area.
The message states, “I am requesting the dog park community to unite and assist in identifying the culprits.
Splenda is extremely toxic and lethal to dogs, and it can both make them ill and kill them.
However, the allegations of witnessing a suspicious person throw packs of splenda were downplayed in a Facebook post on March 20.
“According to Gabriela Bobadilla, a resident of Kew Gardens and one of the dog run’s founders, the notion that someone threw Splenda packets into the enclosure is only a rumor. “It might be because people stroll through the run in the mornings and leave their coffee packets behind.
Dog owners, however, have claimed that this would not be the first attempt to harm their pets at The Overlook, a 9,000-square-foot area close to the Parks Department administration office.
“According to Kew Gardens homeowner and frequent user of the dog run Esta-Joy Sydell, one dog was poisoned with rat poison several months ago.
According to comments made by other dog owners on the Facebook page, the area has shown a lot of resentment against the expanding dog community.
Some claim that people walking their dogs have received outright threats from dog-haters, and that people have been seen spraying unidentified substances in the park.
Splenda could potentially produce signs of diarrhea and digestive discomfort in dogs, but doctors say it is unlikely to harm them severely.
A comparable artificial sweetener that is frequently found in toothpaste, mints, baked products, and chewing gum is far more toxic even though Splenda does somewhat affect dogs.
The other sweetener, according to the ASPCA, enters a dog’s system fast and releases a significant amount of insulin, which can result in liver failure. Vomiting and drowsiness are the early symptoms of toxicosis, which can progress to seizures and finally cause liver failure.
“The March 20 Facebook post states, “If anyone does have firsthand knowledge please let us know… and we will investigate.”
Dog owners have requested that visitors to the park tidy up and discard any trash that is lying about.
What occurs if a dog eats sugar?
A common sugar alternative is a naturally occurring molecule called xylitol. It is a sugar alcohol chemically and naturally occurs in several fruits and vegetables, including berries, plums, corn, oats, mushrooms, lettuce, and trees.
The majority of xylitol used commercially is taken from birch trees or maize fiber. Although it has been used as a sugar alternative for many years, due to its low glycemic index and dental plaque-fighting abilities, its popularity has significantly expanded in the last ten years.
Where is xylitol found?
Xylitol is produced as a white powder that resembles sugar in both appearance and flavor. It has received approval for usage in several nations’ medications, food additives, and oral care items. The quantity and variety of goods containing xylitol have significantly expanded in recent years. Examples of items include toothpaste, mouthwash, sugar-free gum, sweets, breath mints, baked goods, peanut butter, pudding snacks, cough syrup, chewable or gummy vitamins, and over-the-counter medicines. Additionally, xylitol is becoming more prevalent in over-the-counter nasal sprays, skin care items, laxatives, digestive aids, allergy meds, dry mouth lozenges, and sleep aids for people. This is especially true of prescription drugs designed as rapid dissolve tablets or liquids.
Why is xylitol increasing in popularity and use?
While sucrose is sweeter than xylitol, it only has around two-thirds as many calories. As a sugar alternative, it ranks lower on the glycemic index than glucose, a measure that rates foods high in carbohydrates according to how much they boost blood sugar levels. Because it has a reduced glycemic index, xylitol is advantageous for diabetics and people following low-carbohydrate diets.
Research has revealed that xylitol promotes saliva production, inhibits dental caries, and aids in the prevention of plaque buildup when it comes to oral health.
How safe is xylitol?
Although most sugar alcohols have a minor laxative effect when consumed in high quantities or when initially introduced to a diet, xylitol is safe for usage in humans. This happens as a result of xylitol’s ability to draw water into the intestines or its ability to be fermented by bacterial species found there.
Dogs are highly poisonous to xylitol. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, and even death in dogs can be brought on by even trace levels of xylitol.
Why is xylitol toxic to dogs?
The amount of blood sugar is regulated in both humans and dogs by the pancreas’ secretion of insulin. In people, xylitol does not cause the pancreas to release more insulin. However, xylitol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream when consumed by dogs, which causes a powerful release of insulin from the pancreas. This quick insulin release results in a severe drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can happen as soon as 10 to 60 minutes after eating. Hypoglycemia can be fatal if left untreated. Uncertainty surrounds the mechanism by which xylitol can result in liver failure in dogs.
How much xylitol is poisonous to a dog?
Because different goods contain different levels of xylitol, different amounts of a product must be consumed before toxicity is anticipated. In general, xylitol causes hypoglycemia at lower dosages but liver failure at greater ones. The amount of xylitol in gum varies from brand to brand and even from flavor to flavor within a same brand. While other kinds of gum have higher concentrations, some varieties have lower quantities of xylitol. It’s critical to determine whether a dangerous amount of xylitol has been consumed because different brands and flavors of gum have a wide variety of xylitol. Although incidents of xylitol poisoning from other sources, like as supplements and baked goods, are on the rise, the most frequent source of xylitol poisoning that Pet Poison Helpline* receives calls about is sugar-free gum. Dogs consuming xylitol were the subject of 5,846 calls to Pet Poison Helpline in 2020.
What should I do if my dog eats something containing xylitol?
Unless specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian, avoid making your dog puke or giving him anything by mouth. Your dog needs to receive treatment as soon as possible. The clinical indications of some dogs’ hypoglycemia may get worse if vomiting is induced.
What are the signs of xylitol poisoning?
Initial symptoms of xylitol poisoning might appear within an hour of intake and are often brought on by hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Any or all of the following could be indications of low blood sugar:
- Inability to balance properly or having trouble standing or walking
- Lethargy, sluggishness, or weakness
In severe circumstances, the dog could experience liver failure or seizures. Dogs who get liver failure due to xylitol overdose may or may not first exhibit hypoglycemic symptoms.
How is xylitol poisoning diagnosed?
If there are symptoms of hypoglycemia or liver failure and you know or believe that the dog consumed something containing xylitol, you may make a presumptive diagnosis of xylitol poisoning. Your veterinarian won’t typically wait for a definite diagnosis regarding the precise amount consumed before starting therapy because clinical indications usually appear quickly.
Is there an antidote for xylitol poisoning?
No. There is no known cure for xylitol poisoning, however intravenous dextrose (glucose) supplementation and liver-protecting medications are helpful treatments.
How is xylitol poisoning treated?
Your veterinarian must act quickly and forcefully in order to effectively reverse any toxic effects and stop the emergence of serious issues.
Depending on your dog’s blood glucose level and whether or not they have shown any clinical symptoms after recently consuming xylitol, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to stop further absorption. If clinical indications have emerged, the course of treatment will depend on what signs are manifesting. Your veterinarian will run blood tests to see whether xylitol is the cause of low blood potassium and blood glucose levels, and whether these issues require treatment. Your dog will always require hospitalization for monitoring blood sugar levels, giving dextrose, giving intravenous fluids, giving liver protectants, and receiving any further supportive care that may be required. To ensure that liver function and blood glucose levels stay normal, blood work should be examined often.
What is the prognosis for recovery from xylitol poisoning?
The outlook is favorable for dogs who receive treatment before showing clinical symptoms or for those who experience mild hypoglycemia that is promptly corrected. The prognosis is typically uncertain if liver failure occurs, and patients may require extensive care.
How can I prevent this problem?
If you use xylitol-containing products, be sure to store them securely and out of your dogs’ reach. Don’t give your pets any food that might contain xylitol. Use only dog toothpaste when brushing your dog’s teeth; never use human toothpaste. It should be noted that some veterinary products include trace levels of xylitol (e.g., gabapentin medication, mouthwashes). These shouldn’t cause xylitol poisoning when taken at the recommended doses, but they might if excessive amounts are consumed.
“If you use xylitol-containing products, ensure sure they are stored securely and out of your dogs’ reach.”
Dogs appear to be the species most vulnerable to xylitol toxicity. The consumption of xylitol does not appear to cause hypoglycemia or liver failure in cats, rabbits, ferrets, or horses. It is nevertheless preferable to keep these other species away from xylitol-containing items even though they don’t seem to be xylitol sensitive.
As it is less harmful to your dog and more affordable, rapid decontamination and treatment are always required in cases of poisoning. It is crucial to diagnose and treat patients quickly.