Xylitol sweetener toxic to dogs

21-03-2007 | |

A sugar substitute found in a variety of sugar-free and dietetic cookies, mints and chewing gum is proving highly toxic, even fatal, to snack-snatching dogs.

Xylitol, popular in Europe for decades but a relative
newcomer to the U.S. alternative-sweeteners market, can be “very, very serious”
to dogs when ingested, says Dana Farbman, spokeswoman for the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot (of
xylitol), and the effects are so rapid that the window of opportunity to treat
the dog is extremely small,” Farbman says.

The ASPCA sent an advisory to
veterinarians last August warning them about the potential for serious harm or
death. Veterinarians have used a variety of means to get the word out, including
posting signs in their offices and making copies of the bulletin for clients to
augment the caution the ASPCA has posted on its website.


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