Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs

Xylitol is a common sugar substitute. One of the most common products that contain xylitol is sugar-free gum. It can also be found in sugar-free candies and many dental products, such as mouthwashes and toothpastes.

After ingestion by a dog or less commonly by a ferret (NOTE: Xylitol does not affect cats) it causes the release of insulin, which can result in a sudden drop in blood sugar also known as hypoglycemia.

This in turn may cause the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Loss of balance or ataxia
  • Depression, seizures or coma
  • Liver failure

As little Xylitol as 0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight can result in hypoglycemia. A typical stick of gum contains 0.3 to 0.4 grams of xylitol, which means that a 5kg dog could be poisoned by as little as a stick and a half of gum.

Liver damage requires 1 gram per kilogram of body weight, significantly more than the dose to cause hypoglycemia but still not a very large amount. For instance, the same 5kg dog could get potentially fatal liver disease by eating a package of gum sweetened with Xylitol

If your dog consumes a product containing Xylitol, you must immediately either contact a veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

When a patient is seen relatively soon after ingestion, vomiting is induced. Afterward, an intravenous drip is maintained for a minimum of 24 hours. Liver enzymes, electrolytes, phosphorous and blood clotting tests are monitored for 2 to 3 days. If the patient responds well to treatment and there are no hematological abnormalities 3 days following ingestion, then there should be no further concerns and the patient can be discharged.

Unfortunately, if immediate treatment is not instituted after xylitol ingestion, the outcome can be disastrous.



Dog biting another dog's tail

Community Parks and Dogs

End of school is here!  As a mum of two young boys, we live in our little park. Dogs pass through with their owners enjoying an evening walk, the kids are playing grounders and building sand castles, and the parents are unwinding from a hectic day at work and after-school activities.

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North Town Veterinary Hospital is committed to doing everything possible to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

As part of this commitment, effective immediately, North Town Veterinary Hospital will be instituting the following precautionary protocol to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

For the safety of yourself, our staff, and the community, clients will not be allowed to enter the building. We have initiated a Closed-Door Policy, we have locked our front doors. Please call 905-451-2000 when you arrive for your appointment. We will meet you outside to get your pet. The exam will take place in our hospital and our Doctor will communicate the results of the examination via telephone. You can also place an order for pet food through our Online Store by visiting our website.


- If possible, please call us at 905-451-2000 to let us know you are on the way so that we can be prepared to meet you upon your arrival at the hospital.

- When you arrive, please stay in your vehicle in our parking lot and call 905-451-2000, and we'll come to you.

- If you do not have a phone or your pet's emergency is immediately life-threatening, please come to the front door and ring the bell.

Online consultations are now available!

- If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.