There are new chewing gums on the market, such as Spry® Natural Peppermint Gum, that contain extremely high levels of xylitol, a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs. Spry® is estimated to contain 1 gram of xylitol per piece which is over three times as high a concentration as other xylitol containing gums such as some types of Trident®.
The concentration of xylitol can change and varies greatly between products and companies often do not share the exact amount of the artificial sweetener with consumers. Pet Poison Helpline has the most up to date information on these products. We recommend that all pets that eat xylitol seek consultation with their family veterinarian, emergency clinic and/or the Pet Poison Helpline or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).
Prior to making the call, it is important to know the weight of the dog, the exact product, amount, and time the gum was ingested. If the ingestion is considered toxic, the client should immediately come to your clinic or closest veterinary emergency clinic. If the client has contacted a poison control center, be sure they bring the case number so you can follow up for further treatment recommendations.
Common sources of xylitol include:
- Chewing gum such as Trident®, Icebreakers®, Stride®, Orbit®, Pure®, Mentos®, and Spry®.
- Please note that some Trident® gums do not contain xylitol so please check the ingredients.
- Gum in car cups includes a candy coating that increases the xylitol content per piece
- Life Savers
- Tic Tac Chill®
- Peanut butter – various brands
- Additional products that contain xylitol
Toxic xylitol dose:
> 0.1 g/kg at risk for hypoglycemia
> 0.5 g/kg at risk for liver necrosis
The mechanism of injury caused by xylitol toxicity is hypoglycemia and liver necrosis. Development of clinical signs and prognosis for survival is NOT related to dose.
If a dog ingests Xylitol, it should be considered a medical emergency and pet owners should seek immediate treatment from a veterinarian.