October 6, 2006

Xylitol, Sugar Substitute Can Kill Dogs

Harmful to dogs but no human?

A recent study has found that an ingredient in some sugar-free products can be very harmful to dogs.

Xylitol is an ingredients mainly found in sugar-free gum and candy, but eaten by a pet, the additive could cause death.

Xylitol is a sweetener that has been used around the world in gum, breath mints and toothpaste for years. It is as sweet as sucrose, but with 40 percent fewer calories.

Recently, a number of dogs have become very ill after ingesting products containing Xylitol. The Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it has seen an increase in the number of Xylitol poisoning cases in dogs. There were 170 cases in 2005, up from 70 in 2004. As of August, there have been 114 cases of Xylitol poisonings in dogs this year.

It was originally thought that it takes large amounts of Xylitol to cause problems in dogs, but now it has been found that lesser amounts can also be harmful.

If you find that your dog has gotten into your sugar-free gum stash, or any other product containing Xylitol, take your dog to the vet immediately.

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