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Little known pet poisoning

We are bringing your attention to the danger that the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, can pose to your pets. Xylitol is not considered harmful to humans, but if ingested by a dog the substance is dangerous because it triggers a sudden release of insulin which causes a dramatic drop in blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) and can lead to liver damage.

Xylitol is increasingly used as a sweetener in sugar-free chewing gum and other confectionary; it is used in dental hygiene products and is also found as an excipient in many medicines. Of particular concern are the sugar substitute products that contain Xylitol which are used in home baking as well as in manufactured goods. Cakes, biscuits and other goodies made with it are toxic to dogs. Owners may not be aware of these dangers and may not associate clinical deterioration with ingestion of these foodstuffs.

Other animals such as ferrets and cats may be similarly affected and the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) is monitoring all referred cases
While most dog owners are now aware that foods such as chocolate and grapes can be toxic to their pets few are aware of the dangers if their dog eats a cake or muffin containing Xylitol.
If you think your dog may have eaten chewing gum or a sweet or cake containing Xylitol and appears unwell, perhaps vomiting or lacking coordination, then contact us for advice immediately and be ready to provide information on what’s been consumed.

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