Birch sugar is offered as a healthy alternative to sugar, at a fraction of the calories. And the “natural sugar from birch bark” even prevents tooth decay. Sounds great.
But be careful if your dog has eaten birch sugar: even small amounts of xylitol can kill dogs. Here we explain why birch sugar leads to hypoglycemia in dogs. And that quickly becomes life-threatening.
Birch sugar is a sugar substitute for every purpose
Sugar is found in many foods and beverages. But even as children we learn that it is precisely this type of sugar that is not healthy for us.
Consumed carelessly, it promotes obesity and, above all, is harmful to the teeth.
The industry has reacted to this for a long time and has brought substances onto the market that replace harmful sugar. Today, cola and soft drinks are sweetened with aspartame, saccharin, or stevia. And some sugar-free gum contains xylitol.
Relatively new to this list is birch sugar,
also known as xylitol.
In the home, birch sugar can be used just like sugar. This is exactly where the danger lies because many dog owners do not know that this sugar substitute is extremely dangerous for our four-legged housemates.
Birch bark xylitol
Especially during the Advent season, you might let your dog nibble a biscuit from time to time, or let him try a piece of cake.
But it doesn’t have to be that the animal receives the treat on purpose. There are enough four-legged friends who like to steal and then make off with the loot to eat it with relish.
This is exactly where great caution is required if birch sugar or food and drinks containing this ingredient are used in the household. Birch sugar can be declared as xylitol or E967.
This sugar substitute was once obtained from the Finnish birch. Hence the name. Today, the natural sweetener is from other barks or fibrous plants.
Birch sugar is toxic to dogs
Birch sugar has many advantages and is often used for a conscious diet. In contrast to sugar, it has 75 percent fewer carbohydrates and around 40 percent fewer calories.
Birch sugar is gentle on teeth and can even slow down the formation of tartar. In addition, the human body does not need insulin to break down xylitol. That is why birch sugar is an ideal sweetener for diabetics.
In dogs, however, xylitol can increase the release of insulin into the blood. As a result, the blood sugar level drops. This condition can be life-threatening for the life-threatening
The first symptoms of xylitol poisoning can appear shortly after consumption. This can lead to weakness and coordination problems. Cramps are also possible.
In addition, vomiting, lethargy, and circulatory problems are often observed. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, you should visit the veter
If your dog has eaten xylitol, you must go to the vet immediately
If the animal is not treated promptly, hypoglycemia can occur. This is hypoglycemia, i.e. a low hypoglycemiaevel.
If left untreated, this can lead to the death of the animal.
Acute liver failure or tissue atrophy was observed in some dogs. Stomach and intestinal bleeding as well as coagulation disorders are further consequences of xylitol intake.
One gram of xylitol per kilogram of body weight can lead to a life-threatening situation in a dog. Therefore, do not leave any groceries such as sugar-free chewing gum or pastries lying around in the living area.
It is also important to keep all drinks and the xylitol itself out of the dog’s reach.
Since birch sugar tastes almost like normal sugar, it’s enough if the dog just licks it.
If the dog has caught xylitol, the only thing that will help is an immediate visit to the veterinarian.
He will immediately measure the animal’s blood sugar. After that, the dog is usually given intravenous sugar to increase the blood sugar level again. The quicker you react, the higher the chances of your four-legged friend surviving.
You might also want to consider just using less regular sugar if you want to save calories. So you can completely do without the dangerous birch sugar in the dog household.
Frequently Asked Question
What to do if your dog has eaten birch sugar?
Hypoglycemia is responsible for severe liver damage up to and including liver failure, which can have fatal consequences for dogs. After consuming birch sugar, you must visit a veterinarian as soon as possible, who will treat the acute hypoglycemia with infusion therapy and induction of vomiting.
What happens if the dog eats xylitol?
Already 10-60 minutes after consuming xylitol-containing food or consumer products, dangerous hypoglycemia occurs in the dog. In addition, xylitol causes severe damage to the liver, since the sugar substitute is primarily metabolized through this organ.
How much xylitol Is deadly to dogs?
Without countermeasures, all of this can lead to death. As little as 0.1 g of xylitol per kilogram of body weight is enough to trigger hypoglycemia. The liver fails acutely from 0.5 g per kilogram of dog. For a dog weighing 20 kg, 2 chewing gums containing xylitol are sufficient.
What to do if your dog is poisoned by xylitol?
If your dog has ingested xylitol, sugar should be given: for example, coat the mouth with honey or sugar solution. See a veterinarian immediately. With rapid treatment with sugar intake via an infusion, no late effects are usually to be expected.
How quickly does a dog die from xylitol?
In dogs, xylitol leads to a massive release of insulin. After eating, life-threatening hypoglycemia occurs 10-60 minutes later. Left untreated, this usually leads to death.