The dangers of Xylitol toxicity in dogs and cats
As pet owners, we want nothing but the best for our furry friends. We carefully consider their diet and make sure that they get the right amount of exercise to keep them healthy. However, there are certain foods that we enjoy as humans that can be incredibly dangerous to dogs and cats. One of these is xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be found in many common household items.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is often used instead of sugar in many different types of products, including gum, candy, and baked goods. It is also used in some medications as a sweetener. Xylitol has become increasingly popular because it has fewer calories than sugar, doesn't raise blood sugar levels as much, and is safe for people with diabetes to consume. However, it is incredibly toxic to dogs and cats, even in small quantities.
How Does Xylitol Affect Pets?
In dogs and cats, xylitol can cause a rapid release of insulin, which can result in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. This can cause seizures, loss of coordination, and even death. Xylitol can also cause liver failure in pets, which can be fatal. Symptoms of xylitol toxicity in dogs and cats include vomiting, loss of coordination, lethargy, and seizures.
What Should You Do If Your Pet Eats Something Containing Xylitol?
If you suspect that your pet has ingested something containing xylitol, it is important to seek veterinary attention immediately. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to help prevent the absorption of the toxin. Your pet may also need supportive care, such as IV fluids or hospitalization, depending on the severity of the toxicity.
Preventing Xylitol Toxicity in Pets
The best way to prevent xylitol toxicity in pets is to be aware of the products that contain it and keep them out of reach of your pets. Check the ingredient labels of gum, candy, and baked goods, and keep medications safely stored away. If you use xylitol as a sugar substitute in your baking or cooking, make sure to keep those items away from your pets as well. By taking these simple steps, you can help protect your beloved pets from the dangers of xylitol toxicity.