Canine Xylitol Poisoning: Aslan’s Deadly Snack

The sugar substitute, Xylitol, while harmless to humans, is a deadly poison to dogs.

Ingestion of even a tiny amount of xylitol can be fatal to your furry companion. It leads to dangerously low blood sugar, which can result in seizures, coma, and even death. There is enough xylitol in just three pieces of sugar-free gum to kill a small dog.

Unfortunately, even if your dog gets quick care and makes it through the hypoglycemia, xylitol poisoning can also cause long-term liver damage and liver failure. That is what Aslan succumbed to.

Further information: Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs: What Happens In The Dog’s Body with Xylitol Poisoning

Canine Xylitol Poisoning: Aslan's Deadly Snack

Aslan’s story

Aslan was a sweet 8-year-old Cockapoo. He was gentle, loving, and a great companion to his human family.

His parents always did their best to keep any poisonous food items from Aslan’s reach. They hid their chocolate, grapes, and raisins but never heard of xylitol toxicity.

Aslan’s culinary adventure

That night, Aslan got a whiff of yummy goodness hiding in a backpack and discovered a container of Hershey’s® Ice Breakers Ice Cubes gum. It smelled and tasted sweet, and in no time, Aslan gobbled it all down.

An emergency

As his mom noticed that happened, she quickly consulted the internet about whether she should be concerned and what she needed to do. She learned that Aslan needed veterinary help at once. Right away, his mom got Aslan in the car and rushed to the clinic. She arrived in an emergency hospital only fifteen minutes later.

Aslan’s treatment

Aslan didn’t look sick yet, but immediately, the veterinarians started treatment for hypoglycemia and closely monitored him.

For two days, Aslan was doing well. On the third day, however, he started to decline—his liver was failing. Aggressive treatment with liver support and blood plasma transfusion turned things around, and Aslan improved by the next day. He even drank and ate some.

The fatal turn

Despite everybody’s hopes, Aslan was not out of the woods. The next day, his family arrived at the hospital, expecting to bring Aslan home. Instead, they found him jaundiced and lethargic—his liver was not handling the situation. By the seventh day, Aslan was on a feeding tube, his life hanging by a thread.

With the supportive care, Aslan managed to hang in for two more days, but then his heart stopped. The thoughtful veterinarians were able to revive Aslan just for his family to be able to say goodbye to him. They stayed with Aslan until his heart slowly stopped beating.

Aslan passed after a 192-hour fight for his life.

Aslan’s family shared his story to raise awareness of xylitol toxicity to save lives. Share Aslan’s story far and wide, so his death was not in vain.

Canine xylitol poisoning awareness

Xylitol is making its way to an ever-increasing number of products. Yet, awareness among dog parents is lacking.

Please share Aslan’s story. The Preventive Vet website has made it its mission to stop preventable deaths, whether from suffocation, xylitol, or other avoidable tragedies.

Source story:
The Dangers of Xylitol: A Family’s Devastating Loss

Related articles:
Xylitol Can Kill Your Dog: Know Where It Can Be Hiding
Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs: What Happens In The Dog’s Body with Xylitol Poisoning
Canine Xylitol Toxicity Awareness: Lucy’s Last Cake

Further reading:
List of Products Containing Xylitol

Categories: ConditionsDog health advocacyReal-life StoriesXylitol poisoning

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

  1. Aslan’s story is heartbreaking. I used to chew a lot of gum until I read about Xylitol and dogs. Now I never have gum because I just can’t take the risk.

  2. Oh my God, what a horrific story. I can’t even imagine the pain Aslan’s family must have felt as his tragic loss. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. It’s so important to keep all candy and other toxic foods well out of dogs’ reach. What a heartbreak.

  3. My heart goes out to Aslan’s family. I can’t imagine how challenging it is to share this heartbreaking story, however, in doing so they may be able to save another family from experiencing a similar tragedy. I find that people are aware of the potential risks of peanut butter, but they don’t necessarily know why. By not being familiar with the dangerous ingredient, they unknowingly overlook other dangers that include it! Thank you for sharing this.

  4. This is so incredibly heartbreaking. I have heard of xylitol and aware of it being in certain brands of peanut butter and gum. It’s important we check everything and become aware of other foods that may have this ingredient. I don’t even want it in my house, it’s too much of a risk.

  5. I keep hearing of this happening more and more often. We are so paranoid with what even comes into the house because of this. To be honest, I even stopped allowing gum in the house just in case!


    I have heard about xylitol poisoning in dogs. It is a terrible thing and, as your story relates, leaves behind heartbreak and loss. Sharing the dangers of this sweetener is critical and cannot be done often tough.

    I will share this a lot it is SO important!

  7. It is one of my biggest fears is that she will get into some although I have none in the house and do that on purpose to keep my house safe but when walking her especially around Halloween etc I watch everything on the sidewalk. I am so sorry about Aslan 🙁

  8. Poor Aslan! He sounds like an amazing little buddy and I’m so sorry his family had to go through that. Thankfully, I’m finding more and more owners these days know about the dangers of xylitol. That certainly wasn’t always the case. I’m glad so many people are working to raise awareness about something that’s so dangerous for our furry companions.

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