Xylitol Toxicity

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Xylitol is widely used as a sugar substitute and is found in a variety of products, but of late has been added to some low sugar peanut butter brands.

As peanut butter is often used to stuff Kongs, give tablets and as a general treat it is important to check the label to ensure there is no Xylitol added.

Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and symptoms usually develop rapidly. It is quickly absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream, resulting in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas. This rapid release of insulin causes a rapid and profound decrease in the level of blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) which left untreated, can be life threatening.

Symptoms include:

Vomiting
Weakness
Lack of coordination
Difficulty walking or standing
Depression or lethargy
Tremors
Seizures
Coma

There is no antidote for xylitol toxicity but supportive treatment such as intravenous fluids, blood sugar monitoring and liver protectants is absolutely critical.

So if you think your dog, or cat, has eaten something containing Xylitol, contact your vet immediately!

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