Xylitol is one of the most common agents we receive calls about, but did you know xylitol is sometimes referred to as Birch Sugar? Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in many fruits, vegetables, and plants — noticeably birch trees. This is why xylitol is sometimes disguised under the name “Birch Sugar”
It is used as a sweetener and is frequently found in sugar-free chewing gums and sweets. It is also sold in bags for home baking. Hypoglycaemia and liver damage are the main concerns, and close monitoring is required in these cases. The onset of clinical effect may be less than an hour post ingestion, although in some cases depending on what type of product has been eaten, it can be delayed up to 12 hours.
Owners can call Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509000 for advice if they are concerned their pet has ingested something toxic. We will be able to advise whether the animal needs to see a vet. Veterinary professionals can call VPIS for treatment advice for any poisons case – 02073 055 055.