By Tristan Clark DVM
Last month we touched on the dangers of xylitol when ingested by dogs. Xylitol is a sweetener substitute found in human sugar-free candy, cookies, syrups condiments and even some toothpastes, mouthwashes and hair products. However, there have been even more xylitol containing products hitting the shelves lately, including several brands of peanut butter. No one suspects peanut butter as being toxic to their dog and in fact often use it for reward training or to aid in giving medications.
Xylitol is currently an additive in the following brands of peanut butter: Nuts ‘n More, Go Nuts, Krush Nutrition, P28 and Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter. Most of these brands are sold by health-food grocery stores.
The dangers of xylitol can vary but range from a low blood sugar to eventual liver damage or even death. Common signs of xylitol ingestion include vomiting, weakness, tremors and even seizures. This additive can also be absorbed slowly, meaning that these symptoms may appear up to twelve hours post ingestion. A small dog may be affected by eating a small portion of xylitol containing peanut butter. Unfortunately, when it comes to peanut butter, most dogs won’t hesitate to polish off the entire jar.
As the number of xylitol containing products continue to increase so does the number of reported xylitol poisonings, as stated by the Animal Poison Control Center. Last year over 3500 cases were reported in the US.
These toxicologists recommend avoiding any of the following ingredients in anything that your dog may eat: 1,4-anhydro-d-xylitol, anhydroxylitol, birch bark extract, birch sugar, d-xylitol, xylite, xylitylglucoside, zylatol.
A complete list of xylitol containing products can be found at http://www.preventivevet.com/xylitol-products-toxic-for-dogs
Be aware of what is a potential danger to your pet, both in your home and abroad. As always, if you have any questions for a veterinarian, feel free to call us at Copper Hill Animal Clinic. And make sure to double check the peanut butter in your cupboard for xylitol before giving your canine friends a treat!