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Dog dies after ingesting chewing gum

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by Kaylin Jorge

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WZTV) — A middle Tennessee family is sharing its heartbreak over the loss of their dog due to ingesting chewing gum.

Christy Figlio said her Husky mix Cannon was a 3-year-old playful pup who loved to eat. So when the Figlio's noticed Cannon didn't run right to his food Saturday night, they knew something might be wrong. Little did they know, that within 12 hours Cannon would be gone forever, poisoned from Xylitol, a sweetener found in low-sugar gum.

Figlio said she and her husband returned to their home after church Saturday night and noticed one of their two dogs, Cannon, wasn't eating.

The family kept an eye on Cannon as it appeared he wasn't feeling well even the next morning. The Figlio's took Cannon to the Clarksville Family Pet Hospital when it opened at 1 p.m. and at that point, the pup couldn't walk.

Tests showed Cannon's white blood cell count and liver enzymes were through the roof, along with being severely dehydrated. The family couldn't get Cannon to eat and threw up every time he did, but he was extremely thirsty.

The diagnosis was a liver infection and Cannon was sent home with antibiotics after getting two liters of fluid.

Later that same day, Figlio said she saw Cannon fall down and start convulsing. The pet was then rushed to the Nashville Pet Hospital, but was in liver failure with a 107 degree fever by the time he arrived.

All signs pointed to Xylitol poisoning, which blood tests confirmed. Xylitol is a sweetener found in low-sugar and sugarless gum.

Veterinarians said Cannon could've ingested gum that was spit out, somewhere outside on the sidewalk, or even just ingested a stick of gum that had fallen out of a purse.

"Had I known that gum could be so deadly, it wouldn't be allowed on our property."

Figlio is hoping her story will shed light on the dangers of Xylitol for dogs. She said Cannon was a playful dog who liked to cuddle. Their other dog, a few years Cannon's elder at 6 years old, keeps looking for Cannon.

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