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Family says dog died after eating chewing gum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNN) - A Nashville-area family is coping with the loss of their 3-year-old dog, Canon, which died unexpectedly. 

The husky mix seemed perfectly healthy.

Until Saturday night when he suddenly stopped eating and started drinking a lot.

"Then he started vomiting the water and so that kind of was the red flag that made us decide to take him to the hospital. They gave us some IV fluids, sent us home with a bunch of antibiotics, and told us if he got worse take him on to Nashville's Pet ER," Canon’s owner, Christy Figlio told WZTV.

Shortly after they got home, things took a turn.

"When he dropped to the floor and started shaking, I panicked," said Figlio.

They rushed him to the emergency vet who told them Canon's liver was failing because of an artificial sweetener, xylitol.

"She said 'you know I don't know if he's been into any kind of peanut butter, any kind of sugar free gum' and I looked at home and we have Mentos gum and that was the number one ingredient," said Figlio.

Veterinarian Eva Evans says xylitol is extremely deadly to dogs.

"The first signs you're going to see usually are weakness, muscle tremors, inability to stand, and that progresses to seizures as their blood sugar keeps dropping lower and lower," Evans told WZTV.

She says if a dog eats the artificial sweetener, it's a race against time to get them to the vet.

"It's a true emergency, because the longer you wait, the more damage it does to the liver," said Evans.
For canon, the xylitol had done too much damage.

After hours of treatment with things just getting worse, his owners had to let him go. 

"I could just tell. I knew we weren't going to be bringing him home. And I lost my dad a year ago, unexpectedly, and this was a very close second," said Figlio.

Now, she just wants others to be aware of what's in their homes so no one else has to go through what they're going through.


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