The vetnurse site l go on has posted a warning for us to pass on, have not heard of this before but it is available all over the world:
A popular sweetener found in chewing gum and used in cooking has been blamed for the agonising death of two pet dogs. The case in Australia, being investigated by the RSPCA, has prompted an urgent warning that the artificial sweetener xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and cats. It is not harmful to humans but the amount in one stick of chewing gum could kill a family pet.
The dogs' owners are angry that they had no warning about the sweetener's potential dangers. The family's dogs ate most of a batch of 60 homemade petit fours sweetened with xylitol.
Both dogs vomited late that night and were lethargic and not hungry the next day. They assumed the dogs had bellyache from overeating. It was not until two days later that they realised how sick they were. The dogs were rushed to the vet, but died from internal bleeding.
Australian Veterinary spokesman Dr David Mason said if owners suspected a dog or cat had consumed xylitol, they should rush the animal to a vet within an hour or two to have a chance of a full recovery.
Apparently Xylitol causes dogs and cats to secrete insulin so the animals blood sugar levels drop very quickly. Liver failure follows and regardless of Intensive treatment the outcome is usually fatal.