Burnaby animal hospital issues warning over suspected dog poisoning

Burnaby animal hospital issues warning over suspected dog poisoning
RCMP investigating after dog poisoned in North Van park
“Hutch,” a seven-year-old Australian Shepherd, went out for a walk with his owner on Tollcross Road, near Lionsgate Christian Academy.

Nearly 45 minutes later, the dog began to suffer seizures. Hutch has a history of seizures, so his owner didn’t think much of it until he had another one shortly afterward, according to Meaghan Lind-Petersen, a veterinary technician at the North Burnaby Pet Hospital.

Hutch’s owner took him to a vet on the North Shore for some anti-seizure medication, but by Saturday morning, Hutch’s heart rate had slowed and he was unable to stand, so they took him to the North Burnaby Pet Hospital.

“He was ataxic, he was unable to move his head or his legs, he had a slow heart rate and he was very subdued.”

They conducted lab work and determined his organs were unaffected, but could not test for the presence of toxins.

It’s unclear what provoked the seizures, but during the walk, Hutch’s owner saw him lick a rock covered with a brown substance, Lind-Petersen said.

“To me, from the picture, it looks like a white powdery substance smeared with bacon bits,” she said.

Two weeks prior to the incident, someone posted a sign at the same location, which read, “Dead dogs don’t s**t.”

Jeff Traywick, a dog owner who lives in the area, said word of the suspected poisoning spread quickly through the neighbourhood and has people on edge.

“Neighbours are obviously kind of upset, they’re a bit worried, everyone with a dog is staying away from the park or at least letting everybody know that there’s no off-leash playing in the park.And the other concern is for the kids, there’s a school right here and this park is heavily used by all the kids in the neighbourhood.”

When Hutch the Australian Shepherd arrived at North Burnaby Clinic on Saturday, he was not doing well. He wasnt eating, had a slow heart rate and had trouble lifting his legs and head.

The dog became sick and had a seizure after on Friday after a walk in Windsor Park in North Vancouver, and a trip to another vet for some anti-seizure medication hadnt improved his condition.

He licked something on a rock, said Meaghan Lind-Petersen, a veterinary technician who treated Hutch. A brown substance. There was a little bit of white powderiness to it.

Blood-work came back normal, Lind-Petersen said, but that doesnt necessarily eliminate the possibility that the dog was deliberately poisoned. The vet was unable to do a urine test, which would have allowed it to screen for specific drugs.

Dog-owners had spotted troubling signs in Windsor Park roughly a week ago, including one that read dead dogs dont s–t.

Were very afraid, said Kate Warren, who usually walks her dog Jax through the park every day. Other dog owners are as well. The word spread very quickly in our neighbourhood.

Warren has stopped walking Jax through the park for the time being, and North Vancouver RCMP are investigating to determine if anyone in the area may have had motivation to hurt animals.

For his part, Hutch is now feeling better. His condition has improved and he has been sent home. That said, Lind-Petersen is cautious about pronouncing him healed.

Prognosis is still guarded as we dont know what he ingested, she said. I dont know if there will be long term effects of whatever was in his system.

Police are trying to determine if a substance was intentionally placed in the park to poison an animal. 1