New FDA CVM Alert About The Danger of an Artificial Sweetener if Swallowed by a Pet

I don't understand why there is a new FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine alert on xylitol in dogs and ferrets. Still, this is good information, and certainly many may not know about the issue. So here is the warning:

FDA is Warning Pet Owners on the Dangers of Xylitol Ingestion in Dogs and Ferrets

February 18, 2011

Food and Drug Administration is cautioning consumers about the risks
associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol by dogs and
ferrets. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol approved for use in many common
products, including sugar-free baked goods, candy, oral hygiene
products, and chewing gum.


Xylitol can be 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. These products are intended only for human use.

FDA is
aware of complaints involving dogs that experienced illness associated
with the accidental consumption of xylitol. Xylitol is safe for humans
but it can be harmful to dogs and ferrets.

FDA is advising
consumers to always read the label on products and to not presume that
a product that is safe for humans is safe for your pet.

reports included clinical signs such as a sudden drop in blood sugar
(hypoglycemia), seizures and liver failure. If you suspect your pet has
ingested xylitol, some signs to look for are depression, loss of
coordination and vomiting. The signs of illness may occur within
minutes to days of ingesting xylitol. Owners should consult their
veterinarian or pet poison control center immediately for advice if
they know or suspect that their pet has ingested a human product
containing xylitol.

Consumers who wish to report animal illness, please contact the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator where you live.

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