Xylitol is a sweetener that's commonly found in toothpaste, sugar-free gum, sweets and baked goods. It's safe for human consumption, but it's toxic to dogs and causes a spike in insulin levels in them, which leads to their blood glucose levels dropping rapidly. In some cases, severely low blood glucose levels can cause liver failure, which can be fatal, so prompt treatment is key for a dog's recovery from xylitol poisoning. Here's an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for xylitol poisoning in dogs.
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning tend to develop rapidly after ingestion and include vomiting, loss of coordination, sudden lethargy and collapse. Your dog may have one or more seizures and internal bleeding can occur, which may manifest as bloody stools and dark red patches on the gums.
Diagnosis And Treatment Approach
If you know your dog has ingested xylitol, be prepared to provide your vet with as much information as you can about how much they had eaten and what the source was. If you have the packaging from whatever your dog has eaten, take that to the vet surgery, as this will help your vet determine the concentration of xylitol in your dog's body. Otherwise, your vet will diagnose xylitol poisoning by taking blood and urine samples, which will confirm the presence of the toxin and provide valuable information about your dog's liver function and blood glucose levels.
Treatment for xylitol poisoning is carried out on an inpatient basis and typically includes gastric lavage, which involves inserting a tube into your dog's stomach and flushing out the toxin with saline. Activated charcoal may also be given as a drink, and this binds to toxins in the intestines and carries them out of the body when your dog empties their bowels. Low blood glucose levels can be treated with intravenous fluids, which will also resolve dehydration caused by vomiting. Your vet will monitor your dog during treatment and recovery and will repeat blood and urine tests to confirm treatment has been effective.
Xylitol poisoning requires urgent treatment, and your dog should be seen by a vet as soon as symptoms appear to maximise the chance of them recovering. If your usual veterinary surgery is closed, you should contact your nearest after-hours surgery for after-hours animal care services. Do not wait until your usual surgery is open, as this puts your dog at risk of irreversible damage to their liver.Share
24 April 2020
From a young age, children are taught about the importance of regular dental care and this advice is followed through adulthood. When it comes to your dog, dental care is just as important as it is for humans but the topic is not often widely discussed. Veterinarians are often alerted to dog dental care issues once they erupt, but proper care of a dog's teeth helps prevent issues from arising. When looking for dog dental care tips, it is important to find the information in one place, and that is what is available to you here. Use these helpful dental care tips to reduce the odds of your pet needing a trip to the vet to repair teeth issues.