Message Number: FHL6015 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2008-09-16 14:09:07 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] xylitol poisonings on the rise

The article is mostly about dogs, but other animals including ferrets
have died:

quoted segments

> Xylitol has fewer calories than sugar and doesn't impact human blood
> sugar levels, so it's also become a favorite of diabetics, dieters
> and anyone trying to cut down on his or her sugar consumption. That
> means you'll find it in muffin, brownie and cookie mixes, as well as
> candy, energy bars, Jell-O, pudding and ice cream. It's even sold in
> bulk for use in baking and beverages. In fact, just about anything
> sweet may contain xylitol.
[also many dental products, breath mints, many gums, etc]

> While this sweetener may be safe and beneficial for people, when it
> comes to dogs it's another story. They metabolize xylitol very
> differently than we do, and it can send canine blood sugar
> plummeting to life-threatening lows in just minutes, followed within
> 12 to 24 hours by liver failure...

> Start by reading the labels on everything you buy. If a product
> contains the sweetener, treat it like a prescription medication and
> keep it where your dog can't possibly get to it. If you buy or make
> anything that contains xylitol, make sure family members are aware
> of it and don't feed their leftover sweets to the family [pets]

> Time is critical

> What about pets other than dogs? Cat owners can probably relax. The
> ASPCA has received thousands of reports of xylitol toxicity in dogs,
> but none in cats...
> Ferret and rabbit owners, however, need to be more cautious. There
> are a handful of recorded cases of toxicity in those species, so
> keep products containing xylitol away from your small pets --
> challenging as that can be with ferrets, infamous for getting into
> things their owners would rather they didn't.

Lots more in the article itself!

Poison Control and helpful poisoning prevention references:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control:
Angell Memorial's ASPCA Poison Control:

Please, direct ferret people elsewhere to the article and to the
Poison Control sites above. People outside the U.S. should find their
nation's Animal Poison Control contact info and share that.

Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:


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