Caution urged after dog deaths
BAY residents are being warned to be vigilant following several suspected dog-poisoning cases in recent months. While both vets and the police say it is hard to get a handle on how many cases have taken place, authorities are worried about a possible spike in poisonings.
Particularly worrying is the possibility that dogs are poisoned by criminals who then rob the home owners.
Two suspected poisonings took place earlier this month.
According to vets, most cases across South Africa see criminals lace meat with poison and then feed it to the dog by throwing it into the yard.
The criminals either return later or break into the premises while the animal is disorientated.
Dr Dean Sim, of Walmer-based South City Veterinary Clinic, said he had treated a Staffordshire terrier from Newton Park that showed symptoms of poisoning two weeks ago.
“The owners returned home and found their dog displaying symptoms of poisoning,” he said. “He was shaking and convulsing uncontrollably.
“They rushed him to me . . . luckily, he survived. In about May we had three incidents in Summerstrand where all the animals died.”
Sim said various poisons were used to kill dogs, the most common being household types, such as snail or rat poison, with which meat was laced.
Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic’s Dr David Johnson confirmed they had had a Dachshund from Fernglen area that died two weekends ago after displaying signs of possible poisoning.
“A postmortem . . . indicated the possibility of Warfarin toxicity.” Samples had been sent for analysis. Johnson said a Scottish terrier was also being treated prophylactically for poisoning.
Newton Park Animal Hospital office manager Sharon Lange said they had seen about six poisoning cases since January. Two of the dogs had died.
“In almost all these cases, the poisoning was accidental.
“There are however those [cases] that are very suspicious. Most of the time it is very difficult to tell if there is a criminal element to it.”
Mount Croix Animal Hospital’s Dr Matthijs Ravensberg said that while they had not seen any recent poisoning cases, residents should be cautious as these were prevalent in other provinces.
Sardinia Bay K-9 Academy owner and chief trainer Aidon Lippstreu said he had had several requests over the years for food refusal training.
“We train the dogs to only eat meat taken from the owners or family members, not from random people.”
Atlas Security operations manager Monty Montgomery said while they had not seen any poisoning incidents, it was definitely a concern. “Dogs are the first line of defence.”
Police spokesman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said no dog-poisoning cases had been reported in the Bay, but appealed to pet owners to report any such cases.