FDA issues new warning about xylitol poisoning in dogs, ferrets

FDA issues new warning about xylitol poisoning in dogs, ferrets

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Feb 28, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Rockville, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration issued a new consumer alert about the risks associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol by dogs and ferrets.

Xylitol is described as a sugar alcohol used in many products, including sugar-free baked goods, candy, oral hygiene products and chewing gum.

"FDA is aware of complaints involving dogs that experienced illness associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol," the agency says.

While the ingredient is safe for people, it can be harmful to dogs and ferrets.

Clinical signs associated with xylitol poisoning include hypoglycemia, seizures and liver failure. Other signs include depression, loss of coordination and vomiting. The signs of illness may occur within minutes to days of ingesting xylitol, FDA reports. Pet owners were advised to consult their veterinarian or pet poison control center immediately if they suspect xylitol poisoning.