The sudden death of a family dog is hard to cope with.
These loyal animals bring so much love and joy in our lives, which is why we're willing to do just about anything to ensure they're healthy and happy.
Everyone has a particular diet they feed their dog, but we all know that certain foods like chocolate, avocado, caffeine, grapes, macadamia nuts, garlic, milk, and mushrooms have potentially life-threatening side effects in canines.
Pet owners work hard to hide these foods away from their pets, but a stroke of bad luck, that may not even be the owner's fault, can lead to devastating consequences.
"I've cried a lot about it."
Christy Figlio from Nashville, Tennessee is still coming to grips with the death of her beloved three-year-old husky mix, Canon.
The pup still had a long and happy life ahead of him, until a sugar-free treat wreaked havoc in his body.
"I've cried a lot about it," Figlio told Fox News, explaining that she and her husband returned home on Saturday when they noticed Cannon acting strange.
The 85-pound-dog didn't even take a stab at his dinner and was feeling lethargic.
By the next day, his symptoms worsened to the point where the large pup could barely support his own body weight.
Figlio took him straight to the emergency vet clinic, where doctors discovered that Canon was very sick.
"I was always worried about chocolate -- but that's nothing compared to this."
The vet diagnosed Canon with a liver infection, sending him off with antibiotics, but then things took a turn for the worse.
Merely hours after arriving home, the poor pup began convulsing.
They returned to the clinic, where doctors gave the couple bad news: Canon's liver was "shutting down" and his blood was not clotting.
The most reasonable explanation as to why this was happening was xylitol poisoning.
What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a popular ingredient found in sugar-free products like Jell-O, mints, toothpaste, chewing gum, and store-bought baked goods.
It's a sugar alcohol that is usually used as a substitute for sugar, and while it's harmless in humans in small amounts, it can be lethal in dogs.
What it does is increase the dog's blood glucose, which can eventually lead to liver failure and death.
Other signs of xylitol poisoning in dogs include weakness, vomiting, seizures, trembling, and diarrhea.
How did Canon get his paws on chewing gum?
According to the vet, it can be common for dogs to pick up a blob of chewing gum on the street.
If it's fresh, a dog may get curious and ingest it in an instant, without the owners taking notice.
Figlio hopes that by sharing her story, pet owners will pay more attention when walking their dogs.
[H/T: Fox News]