What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar substitute and is found in numerous products. It is popular in people with diabetes or on low-carbohydrate diets.
It has antibacterial properties and is therefore also found in dental hygiene products and chewing gum.
The amount of xylitol found in different products is very variable, but even 1-2 pieces of gum may be enough to cause toxic effects in a small dog.
Xylitol may be listed in the ingredients list of a product by its food additive code E967.

Sources of xylitol

Xylitol is found in numerous products including sugar-free chewing gum, sweets and foods. It is also available in granulated form for baking.

What are the signs of xylitol poisoning?

Clinical signs of xylitol poisoning may be rapid in onset or delayed. Xylitol has two main toxic effects. It induces the release of insulin in the body resulting in low blood sugar and can also cause liver damage.

The clinical signs of xylitol poisoning can include:
• Vomiting
• Signs of low blood sugar (lethargy
and weakness)
• Collapse
• Convulsions
• Coma
• Liver damage

EMERGENCY ADVICE
• Call Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509000 even if your pet is showing no signs to find out whether a trip to the vet is required.
• Remove your pet from the source of poison.
• Do not try to make your pet vomit –NEVER give salt water.
• Collect the poison and take a sample/container with you if you are advised to take your pet to the vet practice.