FDA warns of xylitol dangers to dogs and ferrets

Many pet owners are aware of foods that are poisonous to their pets: chocolate, grapes, onions, etc. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind pet owners that the artificial sweetener xylitol should be added to the list.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol approved for use in many common human products, including sugar-free baked goods, candy, oral hygiene products, and chewing gum. Xylitol is safe for humans but it can be harmful to dogs and ferrets.

The FDA says that xylitol can be also found in many over-the-counter drugs such as chewable vitamins and throat lozenges and sprays. It can also be purchased in bulk bags for use in home baking.

FDA says it has heard complaints involving dogs that experienced illness associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol. According to reports, clinical signs of xylitol ingestion include hypoglycemia, seizures and liver failure. Depression, loss of coordination and vomiting can be signs of accidental ingestion, and these signs can occur within minutes to days of ingesting xylitol.

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