How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Rebecca Your Own Question
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16810
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Rebecca is online now

My dog chewed chewing gum, sugar free, therefore xylitol.

This answer was rated:

My dog chewed chewing gum, sugar free, therefore xylitol.
This was 2 hours ago, I have only just discovered the dangers of it.
I have read that if there was any toxicity he would be throwing up, lethargic etc. He has none of this. The gum appeared to still be in the packet, but chewed up. I retrieved the packet and chewed up contents out of his mouth but I'm unsure if any of the actual gum will have been ingested.
If there was toxicity would I see it now, and will the fact he hasn't vomited etc. be a good sign?
He is a nearly 10 year old shih-tzu.


I am sorry to hear what happened. How many pieces of gum could he have chewed?

The first sign of xylitol toxicity is low blood sugar. That can be followed with liver damage, which you may not see right away. If this were my own dog, I would be checked his blood sugar over the next few hours (blood test), and check liver values in 12 to 24 hours.

If you chose to watch him at home, watch for signs of low blood sugar: confusion, vomiting, weakness, pale gums.

It is hard to calculate how much xylitol is in a piece of chewing gum, it is very variable from one brand to another. A small amount of xylitol can kill a small dog, so I tend to be cautious anytime a dog gets sugarless gum.

One thing to check is how high on the list the xylitol is. If it is the first ingredient, this could be enough xylitol to be dangerous.

It may be up to 12 hours before you see the symptoms of vomiting, weakness, lethargy, etc.

The recommendation by ASPCA veterinary poison control is that any dog that got any xylitol be examined by a veterinarian, as soon as possible. Better to be proactive than wait to see if symptoms develop.

Please let me know how he is doing, if my responses have been helpful, and what other questions you have.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Rebecca,Thank you for the quick response.I'm not sure, the packet didn't belong to me, it had fallen out of a family members jacket pocket - but it didn't look like a full packet, maybe 2-3 pieces, but the majority of the gum appeared to be still in the packet.I read that it's generally 30-60 mins before symptoms appear, hence me hoping for the best, ***** ***** here as there are no late night vets in my area.If symptoms do not appear, am I to assume all is well? I'll get him to a vet as soon as I can, just I'm stuck right now due to it being late.Currently he is his normal self, and has just eaten.

It can be up to 12 hours before symptoms appear, according to my research. It depends on how much is eaten, how big the dog is, etc.

I have also read that some dogs never get the low blood sugar, but do develop the life threatening liver problems.

If it has been only 2 hours, I would not yet assume he is OK. If this were my own dog, I would have him at the clinic, checking his blood sugar, at the least.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would the fact most of it stayed in the packet - as far as I can tell - make a difference? i.e. only chewed it? Sorry for the questions, I'm a little stuck till I can take him the vet.

It might make a difference, but that depends on how much xylitol is in the gum, which varies widely. Some gums have 1000 mg per stick, and just chewing a stick with that much could cause problems. Other gums have less than 1 mg.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks you again for the quick reply.Tried to see if I could determine how much xylitol is on Wrigley's Extra gum but can't find anything, which doesn't help.Until I can get to a vet, is there anything I can do at home other than monitor him?Thanks again for your help.

You are welcome.

Just monitor him and keep him eating to keep his blood sugar level up.

Have his liver values and blood sugar checked as soon as you can. If they remain normal, he did not get a toxic dose of xylitol.

Rebecca and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've found a vet near me open tomorrow so I'll take him there.Thanks again for your help Rebecca.

Great! Let me know how he is doing. Thanks for the great rating.