There are an estimated over 700 products on the market that contain the artificial sweetener called Xylitol. The categories of food that contain this additive include, but are not limited to, gum, candies, mints, lollipops, peanut, and nut butter.
Xylitol is used as a substitute sweetener in many sugar-free products. There are over 6,000 reports each year of pets that have ingested Xylitol, with deadly results. So, the question is, can my furry companion get sick from eating candy canes? The simple answer is not only getting sick, but they can even die from ingesting the holiday favorite.
A Texas pet-owner related her own experience of losing her dog to Xylitol poisoning. Harleigh, according to her owner, ingested sugar-free candy canes and, as a result, unfortunately, passed away the next day. She found her dog limp and sick, having suffered from liver failure and hypoglycemia.
Many pet owners are not aware that they have this poisonous item in the house, and such stories of pet losses are becoming all too often and frequent. Harleigh’s story ended with her being brought into an emergency animal clinic, suffering from the signs of deadly toxicity.
Darla Martinez, Harleigh’s human, told channel 12 News that:
“Somehow, I feel like I failed her by leaving candy canes on the table.”
If you feel your pet may have ingested an item containing Xylitol, you must get them to a veterinarian or pet ER right away. Time is over the essence. Some symptoms to look for that indicate possible Xylitol poisoning include:
- Weakness or lethargy
- Acute Collapse
- Walking drunk
- Racing Heart Rate
In the case of ingested Xylitol, induced vomiting is not suggested. It is essential to call or contact a veterinarian to inquire about how best to proceed. There are those items that, if vomiting is induced, will likely cause more harm than good in the long run. It is best to seek out professional advice.