Emergency Care: Xylitol Ingestion
If a dog eats anything containing xylitol:
- Get a vet to induce vomiting ASAP
- If xylitol was absorbed, blood tests will be required
- A glucose drip may be needed to maintain blood sugars until the xylitol is gone
Now dive deeper…
There’s one common poison of dogs that most dog owners still don’t understand properly. Even if they do, the information they’re getting is hopelessly inaccurate for Australian conditions. It’s xylitol.
What Is Xylitol?
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in many products to replace sugar. In humans it’s quite safe other than having a laxative effect at high doses.
In dogs, however, 100 mg of xylitol per kg of body weight is known to trigger a life-threatening release of insulin. This can cause extremely low blood glucose levels, leading to seizures, collapse, coma and even death.
Instructions on what to do are above. You should see a vet regardless of how much or how little was consumed. Dogs should survive with veterinary care.
Now let’s stop it happening to your dog. The trick is to know which foods to avoid.
What Contains Xylitol In Australia?
The following list is compiled from information published on the Coles, Woolworths, Harris Farm & GroceryRun websites on 21 Jan, 2020. Accuracy is not guaranteed and products will change with time.
The big message: look carefully at anything that says “sugar free”. The greatest threat to Aussie dogs is probably in:
- Cake & biscuit mixes
- Snack bars & protein supplements
- Mints & chewing gum.
Unlike the USA, I have been unable to find any peanut butter listing xylitol as an ingredient.
Ice Cream & Yoghurt
Fropro Ice Cream Tub 520ml (several flavours)
Girdlers Frozen Yoghurt (several flavours)
Snack Bars & Cereals
Orgran Sugar Free Cereal – Acai & Coconut 200g
Atkins Advantage Bar 60g (several flavours)
IsoWhey Keto Brownie Bite Chocolate 330g (several flavours)
Musashi Bulk Mass Gain Deluxe Chocolate & Peanut 90g
Fulfil Bar 55g (several flavours)
Cakes & Cake Mix
PBCo Protein Carrot Cake Mix 320g
Noshu Sugar Free Cookies Mix 300g (several flavours)
Noshu 99% Sugar Free Cake Mix 540g (several flavours)
Noshu Sugar Free Rich Chocolate Mud Cake 400g
Noshu 97% Sugar Free Funfetti & Funtella Cakes 180g
Noshu 98% Sugar Free White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondie 180g
Applelachia Sparkling Apple Cider Vinegar
Keep It Cleaner Electrolyte Water 500ml (several flavours)
Keep It Cleaner Probiotic Sugar Free Raspberry Soda
Pro Live Kids Probiotic Drink
Mints & Chewing Gum
Jila Sugar Free Spearmint Mints
Mentos Now Mints 18g (several flavours)
Extra Chewing Gum Sugar Free (several flavours)
Extra Soft Chew Chewing Gum Sugar Free (several flavours)
Mentos Pure Fresh Sugar Free Gum 30g
Wrigley’s 5 Sugarfree Gum Tempest 12ce
Naturopathica Reducta Chewing Gum
Aussie Bodies Perfect Protein 375g (several flavours)
Aussie Bodies FX Lo Carb Protein Drink (several flavours)
Bioglan Wholefood Vanilla Protein Smoothie 200g
IsoWhey Hot Chocolate Powder 210g
Youfoodz Protein Powder 30g (several flavours)
Quit Smoking Gum
Nicabate Quit Smoking Gum
Nicorette Quit Smoking Gum
Toothpaste & Mouthwash
Honestly, there are so many mouthwashes & toothpastes that I have given up- check each one carefully. Brands include: All Smiles, Nfco, Biotene, Grants, Listerine, Macleans, Oral-b, Ecostore, Jack N’ Jill, White Glo.
Gaviscon Dual Action Heartburn & Indigestion Chewable Tablets Peppermint
Mylanta Antacid Double Strength Liquid
Bach Rescue Remedy Stress Relief Pastilles (several flavours)
IsoWhey Weight Management Sachets
XL-S Medical Direct Oral Powder Sachets (a ‘weight loss’ powder)
Blackmores Superkids Omega Brain Chewables
If you are aware of any other products that contain xylitol, please let me know. Xylitol is not known to be toxic to cats.
Have something to add? Comments are welcome below and will appear within 24 hours of lodging.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. These help topics are from a series regularly posted on email and Twitter. Subscribe via email here to never miss a story! The information provided here is not intended to be used as a substitute for going to the vet. If your pet is unwell, please seek veterinary attention.