NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Christy Figlio never thought she would be sitting at a picnic table, talking to anyone about the death of her 3-year-old Husky mix, Canon.
“He was a very hyper dog. We joke that he was a lot like me. He loved to eat and he loved to snuggle,” Figlio said.
Canon seemed perfectly healthy until Saturday night when he suddenly stopped eating, and started drinking a lot.
“Then he started vomiting up the water and so that was the red flag that made us take him to the hospital,” Figlio said. “They gave us some IV fluids, a bunch of antibiotics, and told us if he got worse take him on to Nashville's pet ER."
Shortly after they got home from the vet, things took a bad turn.
“When he dropped to the floor and started shaking, I panicked,” Figlio said.
They rushed him to the emergency vet who told them Canon's liver was failing because of an artificial sweetener, Xylitol.
“I started googling it immediately. She said ‘You know, I don't know if he's been into any type of peanut butter or any kind of sugar free gum, and I looked at home and we have Mentos gum and that was the number one ingredient,” Figlio said.
Veterinarian Eva Evans says Xylitol is extremely deadly to dogs.
“The first signs you're gonna see usually are weakness, muscle tremors, inability to stand, and that progresses to seizures as their blood sugar keeps dropping lower and lower,” Dr. Evans said.
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,” Dr. Evans said.
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 gonna be bringing him home, and I lost my dad a year ago, unexpectedly, and this is a close second,” Figlio said.
Now, she just want others to be aware of what's in their homes, so no one else has to go through what they're going through.