Prevent the Food and Drug Administration From Allowing Canine Poisoning


Target: Margaret A. Hamburg, MD.; Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Demand consumer products containing Xylitol be labeled toxic to dogs

The United States Food and Drug Administration is allowing the unlabeled distribution of consumer products that are deadly to dogs. Xylitol, a sugar substitute contained in numerous over the counter medications, health and beauty products, and a variety of foods, is one hundred percent lethal to dogs. Despite knowledge by the Food and Drug Administration of these dangers, Xylitol remains free of warning requirements.

This sugar alcohol compound is a natural-based derivative generally found in fibrous fruits or vegetables. For humans it serves as a dietary alternative for individuals with sugar intake regulations, but in the canine community Xylitol is a masked killer. According to the Animal Poison Control Center, symptoms can occur in minutes or up to twelve hours after ingestion. For a curious pet who sneaks a piece of sugar-free gum or a discarded Crest White Strip, or the well-mannered companion who is fed a Flintstone’s vitamin by a tyke who is learning to share, the effects can be staggering. Xylitol stimulates insulin secretion in dogs and the results include a sudden drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), seizures, liver failure, depression, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, coma, and death.

On February 8, 2011 the Food and Drug Administration warned against Xylitol ingestion by dogs, but still fails to provide the necessary protection of proper labeling.

A lack of knowledge about Xylitol’s lethal effects on pets undoubtedly makes the number of unreported cases immeasurable. This unknown danger, combined with an increase in the availability of products containing Xylitol is a lethal recipe for all animals that are looked after with much care. The consumption of Xylitol by canines ranks equal to antifreeze and rodent poison. With these life-threatening hazards considered, the Food and Drug Administration must make this information available on every product containing Xylitol.

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The toxic sugar compound Xylitol is being sold without any labeling warning against its harmful effects on dogs. Xylitol is found in a multitude of consumer products that can easily be consumed by beloved family pets.

As early as 2004 the American Veterinary Medical Association released data stating the fatal effects Xylitol has on dogs. While originally thought to be harmful only in large doses, more cases involving smaller dosage poisoning are on the rise. The Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals listed only seventy cases of canine Xylitol poisoning in 2004, compared to one hundred and seventy cases reported in 2005.

As a national safety watchdog, it is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration to inform the public of all hazards regarding Xylitol.


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