Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener commonly found in many chewing gums, sweets, foods, oral rinses, toothpastes and supplements. It also exists naturally in fruit and vegetables (in low concentrations) and is a normal intermediary metabolite in glucose metabolism. However xylitol is also poisonous to dogs.

VPIS provided advice on the case of an 8 year old Labrador who had ingested cupcakes made by the diabetic owner. In the 3 cupcakes eaten there was approximately 33.6g of xylitol, so a total dose of 0.96 g/kg. On admission approximately 11 hours post-ingestion the dog had severe hypoglycaemia and was immediately started on IV glucose. The dog continued to have mild hypoglycaemia over the next 48 hours and was fed as required. The ALT was high on admission but had declined 72 hours later. The owner reported that the dog continued to have episodes of wobbliness that resolved with food for 5 days after the incident.