Xylitol Poisonings ~Pet Poison Prevention Month~
AAHA publications NEWStat 2021-03
Stealth xylitol poisonings on the rise by Tony McReynolds – 3/25/2021
“We’ve seen a massive jump in the number of xylitol calls that we’re getting,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT, of the Pet Poison Helpline: they’ve doubled over the last five years. “Calls about chocolate poisoning are still number one, but xylitol has moved into that number-two spot.
”Brutlag is the Pet Poison Helpline’s director of veterinary services and senior veterinary toxicologist.A lower-calorie sugar substitute with a low glycemic index, xylitol’s been on veterinarians’ radar for years because of its toxicity to dogs. But lately, it’s getting trickier to spot. “We’re seeing it show up in all sorts of products,” Brutlag told NEWStat. “Products that aren’t even edible.
”Products like deodorant, face gels, hair care products, and baby wipes. Baby wipes? Yes, baby wipes.
“Xylitol produces a nice cooling sensation, so it can be really soothing on the skin,” Brutlag explained. It’s also a humectant, which means it can help maintain moisture in a product, which also helps explain the baby wipes. Brutlag can’t quite believe it herself: “Who would have thought that if a dog ate a baby wipe, we might have to think of xylitol as a potential risk factor, versus whatever else might be in the baby wipe?
”She said that’s why the Pet Poison Helpline is working to get the word on Xylitol out to veterinarians during Pet Poison Prevention Month: “They’d have no reason to be thinking of xylitol being in products other than food or medications because that’s where they’re used to seeing it.”
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