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Xylitol- Not so sweet for your pets

XylitolIt seems the list of things that are bad for us and our pets grows by the day. Some of you may be aware of a compound called xylitol that is being used in many products available today. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener, but that doesn't limit its use to desserts and other foods. The problem with xylitol is that it causes a dogs body to release insulin and can result in a dangerously low blood sugar and even liver damage. Xylitol ingestion can be treated if caught early enough, but this becomes very difficult once liver damage occurs. Products that contain xylitol include:
  • OTC medications (Axia3 ProDigestive antacid, Children's Allegra, Umcka Cold and Flu tablets)
  • Supplements and Vitamins (especially children's vitamins)
  • Nasal products (Xylear and Xyliseptic Nasal Sprays)
  • Prescription drugs (Abilify and Clonazepam orally disintegrating tablets, Emtriva, Mobic, Neurontin, and Riomet oral solutions)
  • Foods with xylitol as the primary sweetener (Clemmy's ice cream, Dr. John's candies, Jell-O sugar-free pudding, Nature's Hollow, SparX candy, Zipfizz energy drinks)
  • Most chewing gums and mints
Xylitol should be listed on the product's ingredient list, but make sure to check the 'inactive' or 'other' ingredient areas as well. If you're in doubt, contact an animal poison control center (Pet Poison Helpline 800-213-6680, Animal Poison Control 888-426-4435)- they have many resources available to help determine if any treatment is necessary.