Xylitol Poisoning in Cats and Dogs

Xylitol, an artificial sugar substitute used in candies and gums, is a common and dangerous pet poison. Luckily, you can keep your animal friend safe with some simple awareness. Learn more about xylitol poisoning here from a Livonia, MI veterinarian.


Your pet’s pancreas confuses xylitol with real sugar, and release insulin in response. This causes a dramatic drop in blood sugar, which leads to symptoms like weakness, drooling, disorientation, vomiting, and diarrhea. If a pet doesn’t receive treatment, seizures, coma, and even death can result.


Rush your pet to the nearest emergency room if you think they’ve ingested a xylitol product. Your vet may administer activated charcoal to absorb the remaining toxin, or flush the stomach to rid your pet’s system of the offending agent entirely. Follow-up treatments like oxygen supplementation, electrolyte replacement, and more may be needed.

Preventing Poisoning

Of course, it’s much safer and less worrisome to prevent xylitol poisoning in the first place. This is as simple as restricting your pet’s access to any candies, gum, or baked goods that use the sugar substitute. Put these items where pets can’t reach.

Want more information on xylitol? Call your veterinary clinic Livonia, MI for professional help.