Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs
Often, your vet will give you a prescription that is to be filled by a compounding pharmacist. Many of the medications used for pets are primarily designed for use by children. The problem is that it's common to find Xylitol in human pediatric formulations. Many pharmacies will actually offer to flavor the medication. That flavoring contains XYLITOL. This artificial sweetener, found in everything from sugar free baked goods, to gum to toothpaste, to mouthwashes and candies,etc, it's supposedly completely safe for humans, BUT IT IS TOXIC TO DOGS. While Xylitol is not absorbed in the human gastrointestinal tract, it's easily absorbed in dogs. Rapid absorption in dogs, means that Xylitol acts like glucose, stimulating insulin secretion, which causes life-threatening hypoglycemia. Profound hypoglycemia can cause ataxia, collapse and seizures. Some dogs have developed liver failure within 72 hours of ingestion of xylitol-containing products. Many dogs have died.
Pay particular attention to ORAL SUSPENSIONS, ie liquids, elixirs, syrups, etc. and chewables. Yes, even the vitamins. Many commercially available human target drugs contain xylitol as an inactive ingredient. It is only listed as inactive because the target audience is HUMANS not DOGS.
READ LABELS! ASK SPECIFIC QUESTION. ASK YOUR PHARMACIST! DO NOT ASSUME THE PRESCRIPTION IS SAFE . ASK ASK ASK : IS THERE XYLITOL listed anywhere as an ingredient?
You can learn more be reading the links listed below:
xylitol toxicosis Eric K Dunayer, Sharon M Gwaltney-Brant. Acute hepatic failure and coagulopathy associated with xylitol ingestion in eight dogs, J Am Vet Med Assoc. October 2006;229(7):1113-7.
BE safe, not sorry