FDA Warns Xylitol Sweetener is Toxic to Dogs

Posted on May 14, 2016

The FDA is warning consumers to keep products containing xylitol away from their dogs. The sugar alcohol sweetener is toxic to dogs. The product can be found in chewing gum, mouthwash, sugar-free candy, cough syrup, toothpaste and other products.

The FDA says that when dogs eat something containing xylitol, the xylitol is more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and may result in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, followed by symptoms associated with the sudden lowering of blood sugar, such as weakeness, staggering, collapse and seizures.

FDA also says in the xylitol announcement, "Over the past several years, the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received several reports-many of which pertained to chewing gum—of dogs being poisoned by xylitol, according to Martine Hartogensis, a veterinarian at FDA."

The FDA announcement says cats "appear to be spared, at least in part, by their disdain for sweets." The FDA also notes that the "toxicity of xylitol for cats has not been documented."

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