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Is YOUR Diet Healthy for your Pets?

By March 9, 2020Pet Health

Watching what you eat? Many of today’s most popular diets feature foods that are filled with additives, like sugar-free sweeteners, that may not be safe for pets, especially dogs and cats. If you regularly eat these types of products or if you are on a diet, make sure that you are not exposing your dog or cat to food items that could be potentially poisonous, such as additives like Xylitol.  

Pay special attention to labels to ensure foods with Xylitol are kept far away from your pets:

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is frequently used in dietetic candy or gum- and that is highly poisonous for pets. When humans over-indulge in Xylitol, it can have a mild diuretic or laxative effect; when pets have access to foods containing Xylitol, it can be lethal. The results of ingesting even a small amount of this sweetener can cause seizures, hypoglycemia, and liver failure in dogs and cats.

What does Xylitol do?

Xylitol is often used as a sweetener in diet foods, as it does not impact the release of insulin in the pancreas as sugar and artificial sweeteners do. When dogs or cats ingest Xylitol, it is swiftly absorbed into the bloodstream, which significantly lowers blood sugar in minutes. With or without veterinary care, coma or death could occur.

How Much is Toxic for Pets?

Remember that even the smallest dose of Xylitol can have devastating effects on your pet; always keep foods containing sweeteners and sugar alcohols out of your pet’s reach. Since Xylitol is a common ingredient in sugar-free gum, it is estimated that one piece can cause extremely low blood sugar for every five pounds that your pet weighs; twice that can cause liver failure.

What are the Symptoms of Poisoning?

Think your dog or cat has consumed something with Xylitol in it, like diet candy or sugar-free gum? Usually, symptoms of toxicity manifest within a half-hour of consumption. Signs of Xylitol poisoning include vomiting, lethargy, weakness, loss of balance, lack of coordination, tremors, seizure, and unconsciousness. Try to find what your pet has ingested and also try to ascertain how much your pet has consumed to convey to the vet or poison control.

Seek Veterinary Care Immediately.

Don’t delay seeking out veterinary care if you think your pet has consumed something containing Xylitol; call your vet and the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 immediately. Unless instructed by your veterinarian, do not give anything to your pet or induce vomiting, as this can make the situation worse.

Xylitol can kill your pet. If you eat food items containing this sweetener, make an effort to keep it away from your pets. If you suspect your pet has eaten something containing Xylitol, seek veterinary assistance right away. Call or visit CVETS, a brand new, state of the art Emergency Vet and Surgery center in Columbia, SC, for appointments or emergency veterinary assistance.