According to Wikipedia, Xylitol “appears to have potential as a treatment for osteoporosis. A group of Finnish researchers has found that dietary xylitol prevents weakening of bones in laboratory rats, and actually improves bone density.” However, although Xylitol is wonderfully healthy for humans, I sadly learned firsthand yesterday that it is deadly for dogs. If only I had known!
Shadow was a handsome husky who belonged to my son-in-law, Neil, and my daughter, Mary. When I visited their home in Holiday, Florida, this past weekend, I took some baking supplies–including a bag of Xylosweet, a brand of granulated Xylitol. After lunch on Saturday, I packed my bags and belongings, stacking them together in the living room so that we could load my car easily that evening. Then we left for a couple of hours to go shopping.
When we returned, we found that Shadow had chewed open the bag of Xylitol and eaten in all. He had vomited it up in three wet piles on the living room rug. He was quiet and looked “down.” We thought he might have had an upset stomach or might be feeling like a naughty dog. Later, though, Neil and Mary became worried when Shadow did not seem to be himself at all. They looked up “Xylitol and dogs” on the Internet, and discovered the seriousness of the situation. According to the ASPCA and the AVMA, Xylitol was extremely toxic to dogs–and deadly, if not treated immediately.
They rushed him to the emergency veterinary clinic. His blood sugar had dropped to 20–normal is between 80 and 120–due to the insulin effect of Xylitol on dogs. Shadow had already sustained liver damage. The vet gave him glucose and did what he could. When Shadow was transferred from the emergency clinic to their regular vet in Monday morning, he was responsive and they thought he might pull through after all. But, his liver gave out later in the day, and then his heart. He didn’t make it.
Shadow was such a wonderful dog–loyal, affectionate, playful, and gentle. We will miss him so much, and we are broken-hearted that he died from a situation that could easily have been prevented. I am writing this article as a tribute to this nobel companion, that his death might warn others to keep Xylitol and products containing Xylitol away from their beloved pets. If you explore the links below, you will find that just one or two sticks of gum containing Xylitol is enough to kill a dog!
Please pass this warning on to others, so that Shadow will not have died in vain.
For more information on Xylitol and dogs, visit: