WINNIPEG (CityNews) — A Winnipeg woman is speaking out about the negative effects xylitol — a sugar substitute — can have on pets after her dog died from eating an entire bag of gum.
Lynnette Beaudin says her dog Hiccup, a 10-year-old Labrador Retriever, was completely healthy until he ate 55 pieces of Pur gum last Friday.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute for humans but is lethal for dogs.
“We had run some tests again and I guess his liver was failing, he wasn’t eating, there was a lot of things happening to him,” said Beaudin. “So it was just devastating, we thought he was out of the woods.
“To me, he was almost my everything, he was such a good thing.”
Beaudin says they rushed Hiccup to an emergency veterinary clinic. The following day, the vets informed Beaudin the dog had serious liver damage and was unlikely to survive. Beaudin says her family then had to make a difficult decision.
“My family and I, we went down at 12:30 and got to see him, but he was in such bad shape, he was not doing well so we had to make that decision to euthanize him,” she said. “But we did get to say goodbye to him.”
Beaudin says she’d never heard about xylitol before this incident.
Dr. Ron Worb, a veterinarian from Anderson Animal Hospital in Winnipeg, says a quick response time is crucial if a pet ingests the sugar substitute.
“If it is not dealt with in a timely fashion and enough xylitol has been ingested, it can go into hypoglycemia and die or an acute liver failure and die,” said Dr. Worb.
CityNews reached out to the makers of Pur gum but have yet to hear back.
Beaudin says it’s very important other pet owners realize the dangers so they can avoid losing their furry friend needlessly.
“Be aware of what they are buying, take a look at the labels,” she said. “If you have a dog, xylitol is extremely toxic. Nobody ever wants this to happen to their pet so I want people to be more aware of it.”