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Veterinarian Warns of Deadly Effects of Xylitol After 3-Year-Old Dog Dies

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We’ve all grown used to warnings about what we shouldn’t feed our dogs. Chocolate, avocados, raisins, dairy products — the list goes on and on.

But those warnings aren’t just for show. Failing to follow veterinarians’ recommendations can have fatal effects for our canine chums.

Just consider the case of Canon, a 3-year-old Siberian husky. Canon belonged to Christy Figlio, of Nashville, Tennessee.

“We joke that he was a lot like me,” Figlio told WZTV. “He loved to eat, and he loved to snuggle.”

But the joy Canon took in excessive consumption would end up costing him his life. The ironic thing? It was what he ate rather than how much that killed him.

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On Oct. 6, Canon started acting strangely. His appetite vanished, and he started slurping up as much water as he could get.

“Sunday morning, we woke up, and he was very lethargic,” Figlio told the Miami Herald. “He didn’t want to get up and move around.

“It was almost like he was drunk … but he was just drinking constantly.” The dog’s condition, though, soon worsened.

Has your pet gotten into something that could be harmful to them?

He soon lost the ability to stand, his sugar levels plummeted, and he broke into seizure-like shaking. Even worse was his fever, which an emergency veterinarian told Figlio had soared to 107 degrees Fahrenheit.

The pup’s body had begun to shut down. A poison was working its way through Canon’s frame, a simple poison with an ordinary name: xylitol.

“(The veterinarian) 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 No. 1 ingredient,” Figlio said.

VCA Animal Hospitals has published a fact sheet about xylitol, and its contents may surprise you. For starters, xylitol isn’t a man-made synthetic.

Rather, it’s a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that appears in numerous things such as lettuce, mushrooms and some fruits. Manufacturers have been placing it in products such as gum, children’s medicine, toothpaste and mints.

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It doesn’t have any adverse effects on people, aside from potentially leading to loose stool. With dogs, though, it’s another matter entirely.

In canines, xylitol leads to an insulin crash that is often fatal. A single piece of gum containing xylitol can often kill a faithful pet.

“We’re trying to spread this message so (nobody) else has to go through it,” Figlio said. “We’re concerned with our (other) dog that is still alive, if he can find something.

“We had to throw away peanut butter that had Xylitol in it. We wanted to get the message out there to everybody.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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