What is Xylitol and Why is it Harmful to Pets?

Even if you’ve never heard of xylitol, you’ve probably had products that contain it in your home. It’s an artificial sweetener commonly used in candies, gum, baked goods, and products like toothpaste. And it’s highly toxic for animals! Learn more here from vets Virginia Beach, VA. 


Your pet’s pancreas mistakes xylitol for real sugar and produces extra insulin as a result, causing a sudden drop in blood pressure. Your pet might exhibit symptoms like lethargy, drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, and even seizures, coma, and death if treatment isn’t administered quickly. 


Take your pet to the emergency room as soon as you know or suspect they’ve ingested something that contains xylitol. The stomach may need to be flushed. A pet recovering from xylitol poisoning will likely need fluid therapy or even more extreme measures like blood transfusions in severe cases. 

How to Prevent Poisoning

Keep any and all sweet treats out of your pet’s reach at home. Read ingredient labels carefully when choosing products at the store. These simple steps make xylitol poisoning in pets unlikely! 

To learn more about xylitol and other in-home pet poisons, contact your veterinary clinic Virginia Beach, VA. We’re always here for you!