Veterinarians across the country are reporting an increase
in the number of dogs poisoned by a common ingredient used
in sugar-free products. The chemical xylitol is used in gum and other sugar-free foods and products, such as candy, baked goods, energy bars, muffins, brownies, Jell-O® pudding, ice cream and even toothpaste.

Veterinarians say they are seeing at least one or two cases per week of dogs suffering from xylitol toxicosis, which can be deadly if not treated quickly. Unlike humans, dogs quickly absorb xylitol into the bloodstream, which can lead to sudden liver failure, bleeding and death.

Symptoms of xylitol toxicosis in canines include vomiting, weak and wobbly gait and extreme lethargy. The longer the pet goes without treatment, the more grave and likely to be fatal the condition becomes. Some experts say that just one pudding cup can cause harm to a 90-pound Rottweiler.