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Monday, May 6, 2013

Watch how "sweet" you are to your pet!

Xylitol is poisonous to your pet! Here are some common signs to watch for: Weakness, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, seizures, black tar-like stool
We all may  feed our dogs and cats human food from time-to-time, but please stop and think the next time you want to give them a snack. Recently, in the Orlando area, a woman lost her dog to Xylitol poisoning. Her dog ate a cake that was baked at home with the toxic ingredient. According to the ASPCA, heartbreaking stories like this are more common than you may  think. There were nearly 3,200 Xylitol poisonings across the country last year - up nearly 800 from just a few years ago.
Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener commonly found in many chewing gums, mints, foods (e.g., pudding, baked goods, gelatin snacks, etc.), oral rinses, toothpastes, and OTC supplements (e.g., sugar-free multivitamins, fish oils, etc.). The xylitol content of these products can vary widely depending on the brand and flavor. In pets, ingestion can cause acute, life-threatening low blood sugar within 10-15 minutes and can also result in liver failure. If you suspect your dog or cat ingested xylitol, contact us at 407-366-4486 or Pet Poison Helpline (a 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center at 800-213-6680) immediately for treatment recommendations. The veterinarian will need to see the pet right away (be sure to know what the pet has eaten), and treatment may include monitoring of blood sugar and liver values, IV fluids, and other medications. Blood work (evaluating liver function) will be re-evaluated frequently, depending on the toxic dose ingested.