Popular sugar substitute xylitol – veterinarians warn of dire consequences for dogs
Xylitol is a good thing for people: it tastes as sweet as sugar, but contains fewer calories and is gentle on the teeth. For dogs, the opposite is true and it can even be fatal. Veterinarians therefore warn against the ingredient.
Actually, xylitol is the dream ingredient for cakes, jellies and other sweets: The substance, also known as birch sugar, is just as sweet as conventional household sugar, but has significantly fewer calories and even benefits for dental care. In contrast to sugar, birch sugar does not promote tooth decay – on the contrary, it even has an anti-cariogenic effect in chewing gum, i.e. it prevents or reduces tooth disease.
For pet owners, however, the popular sugar substitute is an undreamt-of danger: While humans can tolerate xylitol well in normal amounts, xylitol is a serious threat to dogs. In relatively small quantities, it can even be fatal if dogs nibble on it and the vet is not called quickly enough.
Xylitol – the sweetener is deadly to dogs
The small animal practice Rückert writes: “It really doesn’t take much to get a dog into serious trouble. From 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight, there are almost certainly unsettling symptoms that require treatment, from 3 grams per kg must be firm a fatal outcome can be expected. ” These quantities are so small that even a small pack of xylitol candy is enough for smaller dogs to put their lives in danger. Homemade treats such as cakes or jellies are particularly dangerous for larger dogs. If these are left to cool in the oven or on the worktop after cooking or baking, the smell is very tempting for dogs. The large amount of sugar substitutes in cakes or jellies is enough even for large animals such as retrievers or mastiffs to put their lives in danger.
The dog ate xylitol – what to do?
Once the cake is nibbled on, there is only one solution: drive to the vet as quickly as possible. According to the small animal practice Rückert, xylitol is absorbed by the body very quickly. In contrast to other poisonings, activated charcoal does not help with xylitol or birch sugar. Only a veterinarian can help with drug induced vomiting and intensive medical care – and even then the prognosis is unclear in many cases.
Professor Christine Iben from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna reported to the “Dog Newspaper” of a case in which “3 g / kg resulted in severe hypoglycemia [führten]but the dog could be saved. In another case – 3.7 g / kg – an English Springer Spaniel survived on intensive therapy “.
Effects of xylitol on dogs
Xylitol leads to a violent release of insulin within half an hour, which is significantly higher than that of sugar. This leads to life-threatening hypoglycemia, i.e. a blood sugar level that is too low. Large amounts of birch sugar can also lead to severe liver damage.
According to “Mimikama”, other consequences of taking xylitol can be apathetic behavior, seizures, tremors, vomiting and a racing heart. Jaundice can also occur even if the symptoms mentioned above have not occurred.
Sources: “Small animal practice Rückert “,” The dog newspaper “,” Mimikama “
This article originally appeared on stern.de.