Dog owner fears poison campaign
Dog dies after walking Bridle TrackJONATHAN GALUSZKA
A Palmerston North woman fears someone is on a crusade to keep dogs off the Bridle Track, after her pooch was fatally poisoned, despite officials saying they have not been laying poison in the area.
Amy Carlyon was walking her dog Reilly at the Ruahine St end of the track when he ate something in some bushes.
Hours later, the dog was showing symptoms of poisoning.
"He was acting really weird, walking low to the ground, and then started to tremble," she said.
Reilly then started having seizures, prompting a dash to the vet last Thursday.
The situation deteriorated, with Reilly continuing to suffer seizures and diarrhoea until he was put into an induced coma.
The next day he had to be euthanised.
Malcolm Anderson, from Anderson's Veterinary Hospitals, said the colour of Reilly's discharge and its strong, distinctive garlic smell meant the dog was likely to have been poisoned with zinc phosphide - a poison usually used to control possums.
The dog's organs have been sent to Massey University to verify that diagnosis, and see how big the dose was.
Horizons Regional Council said they did not use zinc phosphide for baiting.
The Animal Health Board said it had not been doing any baiting on the Bridle Track recently.
A spokesman for Palmerston North City Council said they were unsure how the poison got there.
Ms Carlyon said she knew there were groups who did not like dogs being walked on the track.
She was fearful that they could be taking matters into their own hands.
"I did some research and it is one of the slowest-acting poisons . . . it takes a long time for it to kill a dog.
"I don't want anyone [else] to go through what I went through."
Horizons spokeswoman Ally Koehler said anyone wanting to bait with poison in a public area had to get permission from officials.
Mr Anderson said it was not rare for poisoned dogs to come through the clinic.
"We usually get poisoned dogs at this time of year because people are leaving slug bait by the lettuce. It's slug bait in spring and rat poison in autumn."
Zinc phosphide caused organ failure, vomiting and violent seizures, he said.
Mr Anderson said dog owners should either keep their dog on a lead, or always have it in clear view when off lead. If anyone saw their dog eating something that could be poison, they should get it to a vet as soon as possible and notify others in the area, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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