A dog owner is now speaking out against a relatively unknown fatal ingredient in chewing gum that killed her dog.
“I want her story to reach as many pet owners as possible so that no one else can say they ‘didn’t know,’ like I did,” said the dog’s owner, Amanda Janecek, Independent Journal Review reports.
Janecek recalls coming home one night with her partner, Jeff, initially unconcerned when she saw the Icebreakers Cubes gum lying on the carpet.
“She had eaten a piece of gum once or twice before and there were zero signs of illness or discomfort,” explained Janecek of her dog, Roxy.
Even the next morning, Roxy reportedly appeared just fine.
“She seemed perfectly healthy: wagging tail, talking, excited about meals and outside time,” said Janecek.
Only one hour later, however, the dog’s mood changed before she began vomiting.
Her worried owner quickly turned to Google to research, where she learned that the sugar substitute Xylitol -- an ingredient found in some gums -- can kill dogs.
Even when she arrived at the veterinarian, it seemed everything would still be ok, with the dog’s vitals appearing normal.
“[She] told me that normally when a dog has Xylitol poisoning we would be seeing symptoms of hypoglycemia: seeming drunk, being unable to stand, extreme lethargy,” recalls Janecek.
Yet when the blood tests results arrived, it became apparent that not all was what it seemed.
Without her owner realizing it, Roxy was quietly experiencing liver failure. Her condition continued to deteriorate until the next day when she died.
“I unexpectedly and tragically had to say goodbye for now to my very best friend late last night,” wrote a grieving Janecek on Instagram. “My heart is broken and there are empty spaces throughout our home that could only be filled with her huge personality. She taught me the definition of honest, unconditional love and filled my life with joy for nearly a decade.”
Janecek now hopes her story can help save lives. She warns other dog owners to keep Xylitol away from pets.
She also started selling shirts on her website with the words #fortheloveofROXY to help fund her awareness-raising efforts.