Pet dog fights for life after ‘deliberate poisoning’

Ben LeahyNorth West Telegraph
The Hedland pet has survived.
Camera IconThe Hedland pet has survived. Credit: North West Telegraph

A pet dog is fighting for its life and remains in an induced coma amid concerns it was deliberately poisoned, South Hedland vets say.

Pets and Vets South Hedland locum veterinarian Laura Sabine spent three hours yesterday morning pumping the American Staffordshire’s stomach and medicating emergency anti-seizure drugs.

She said she could not believe it when raisins and a “massive” quantity of snail-or-slug pellets were flushed from the dog’s tummy along with what looked like gauze packaging, leading her to suspect foul play.

“It is well known that snail bait and grapes or raisins can poison dogs and also (we found) a gauze material and a little bow, suggesting this had been tied up in perhaps a meat flavoured package,” she said.

“I’m highly suspicious somebody has thrown something over (the owner’s) high fences.”

“We are just lucky only one dog got to it and not her other dog and also that she got to the vet clinic very quickly.”

Ms Sabine said concerns for the dog’s health were compounded by the fact its owner later found a trail of snail pellets in a public area near her house.

She said the owners told her they had never used snail or slug bait in their home, had high, fully enclosed, fences and that their dog was not a barker or known nuisance.

Despite this, the apparent attack was especially severe with Ms Sabine saying she had never recovered so much toxic material from an animal during her 10 years as a vet.

The dog first showed symptoms of the poisoning when its owners noticed it had wobbly legs at around 6am.

A short time later at the vets, it began to violently tremor and have seizures.

Pets and Vets supervisor veterinary surgeon Steve Van Mil said snail poisons caused terrible suffering in dogs.

“Colloquially, we call snail pellet poisoning shake and bake, because the animals convulse violently and they can basically cook themselves with extremely elevated body temperatures,” he said.

He said the vets remained concerned about kidney failure, permanent nervous system damage and secondary infection in the dog’s lungs, but were hopeful it would recover.

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