Dr. Evans examined sweet Nori after her family discovered she had eaten sugar-free gum. Their cat had knocked the gum off the counter, and Nori consumed an unknown number of pieces. The gum contained xylitol, a sugar substitute that is extremely toxic to dogs. Nori vomited several times soon after. Upon discovering the gum, her family immediately called poison control.

Our team did in-house blood level testing to assess the severity of the poisoning. Her liver had been affected and we began supportive care including specialized medication. Given the critical nature of xylitol ingestion, she was transferred to an emergency clinic for overnight care to ensure continuous monitoring and support.

We’re thrilled to report that Nori is doing well on follow-up with Dr. Evans! With ongoing medication and lots of TLC, she is on the road to a full recovery.

This situation can easily occur in the blink of an eye. It’s crucial to remember to check ingredient labels because sugar-free labeling isn’t always prominently displayed. Harmful substances such as xylitol, birch sugar, and birch sap, even in small amounts, can be life-threatening for our pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful, seek veterinary care immediately.


Products which commonly use sugar substitutes:

  • Sugar-free foods: baked goods/desserts, peanut butter, ice cream, candy, fruit drink, powdered drink mix, jelly/jam, cereal, yogurt, pudding/Jell-O, flavored gelatin, meal replacement/protein shakes, condiments including ketchup and syrup, chewing gum, breath mints
  • Medications: cough drop/syrup, chewable/gummy vitamins, liquid compounded medications
  • Dental care/beauty: toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, moisturizer, deodorant