SEATTLE - There's a new call for warning labels on products that contain Xylitol, a sweetener that is safe for humans but can kill dogs.
It doesn't take much of the sweetener to make a dog sick.
The veterinarian at the Emerald City Emergency Clinic in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood said that a half a stick of gum with Xylitol could make a 10-pound dog very sick.
Xylitol can be found in gum, gummy vitamins, specialty peanut butter and melatonin sleep aids.
It is safe for humans, but can cause severe low blood sugar and even liver failure in dogs.
The ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center says the number of dogs getting sick from the sweetener has spiked from 82 in 2004 to more than 3,700 last year.
Animal welfare groups are calling for warning labels on products with Xylitol.
KIRO 7’s David Ham spoke to a local vet who explained the symptoms.
“It actually can be fatal. It leads to muscle weakness, tremors, very low blood sugar, which can lead to death, and they can even start to have seizures and eventually death if they're left untreated," said Dr. Clare Foley at Emerald City Emergency Clinic.
Vets say that Xylitol is roughly 100 times as toxic to dogs as milk chocolate.
Foley says that if you do have products with Xylitol, keep them up high.
She adds that the good news is that if dogs are treated in time, the survival rate is high.