Jessica Hyde tells ABC 4 News that their two-year old miniature poodle Scooter accidentally ingested the artificial sweetener after he ate some freshly baked banana bread. A day after Scooter ate the bread Jessica's family noticed Scooter wasn't acting like his normal self. After a visit to the vet, they discovered it in fact was Xylitol poisoning. Scooter eventually had to be put down after the vet determined the Xylitol had destroyed his liver.
"It tends to stimulate an over-reaction of insulin within the animal and plummets the blood glucose, so the animal comes into us with severe hypo-glycemia or low blood sugar," says Dr. Ross Anderson with the Southeast Valley Veterinary Hospital in Sandy.
Xylitol is usually found in sugar-free gum, baked goods such as muffins, and non-sugary drinks.
Signs of Xylitol poisoning include vomiting, weakness, depression, seizures, and even comas.
Treatment for Xylitol poisoning can take several days and involves a IV drip of glucose to stabilize blood-sugar levels in the dog.
The only way to avoid having your pet accidentally ingest Xylitol is to not feed them scraps of human food. "If there's any question whatsoever, don't give it to your dog. You may think you're doing it a service, they may be asking for it, but in actuality you're giving it at least a significant disease, if not a death sentence," says Dr. Anderson.