Xylitol is used as sugar replacement in many gums, candies, tooth-pastes, mouth washes and backed goods. This naturally-occuring sugar substitute is non-toxic for humans but can be fatal for dogs.
Xylitol toxicity refers to the condition where dog has ingested xylitol. In dogs, xylitol stimulates the pancreas to release insulin. When cells take too much sugar from the blood (in response to increased insulin levels), the pet’s blood sugar can drop dangerously low—a condition known as hypoglycemia. Xylitol can also cause liver damage in dogs. In severe cases, liver cells can die in large numbers, and the pet may develop liver failure.
Symptoms can develop as early as 10-15 minutes after ingestion of the substance or can be delayed for up to 12 hours. Common symptoms include
Loss of coordination
Decrease in potassium (hypokalemia)