Woman warns pet owners of dangerous ingredient in sugar-free candy cane after dog dies

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GROVES, Tex (WTHR) — A pet owner is warning others about an ingredient in sugar-free candy cane that was fatal to her 4-year-old dog.

Darla Martinez had set items from Walmart which included dog treats and candy canes on the table. When she returned to the kitchen, she found her dog Harleigh chewing on the last bit of candy cane left in the bag, she told 12NewsNow.

Martinez said she didn't notice anything at first but then Harleigh was throwing up in the middle of hte night and the next morning she was found lying in a pool of blood in her kennel, 12NewsNow reported.

She immediately took Harleigh to the vet but by that time the dog was already in a comotose. The dog died shortly after.

The vet told Martinez that the dog had died from xylitol poisoning.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol often used as a substitute for sugar. It is commonly found in sugar-free chewing gums and mints, toothpaste and store-bought baked goods, among other items, according to PetMD. The site says that the ingredient can be lethal to dogs if ingested because it can cause a sudden decrease in the dog's blood glucose and even liver failure.

Some of the symptoms of xylitol poisoning includes weakness, vomiting, seizures and diarrhea.