“I think my neighbor poisoned my dog!”
I have never quite understood why this is the most favorite excuse clients give whenever their pets get sick suddenly, perhaps it’s the animosity they have for their neighbors or vice versa. I also tend to think that this animosity comes about because of the constant barking from their dogs, especially at night, which is usually a nuisance to the neighbors.
When I was younger, I recall our neighbors constantly telling us to stop our dog from barking. I never understood how that was possible because the dog was just expressing its natural behavior, besides, how else was it supposed to alert us when the thieves tried to break into our compound? On that note, I never liked my neighbors and neither did my dog.
My dog’s name was Chelsea (because am a die-hard Chelsea fan) and Chelsea was a Dobberman cross. I knew she didn’t like my neighbors because she always sneaked into their compound and stole anything that was left lying around in the compound, she often stole a shoe and hid it under my dad’s car.
One day however, in the dead of night, Chelsea decided to steal our neighbor’s wallet, and as if that was not enough, she removed whatever was inside (three thousand Kenyan shilling notes) and ripped them apart and left the evidence under my dad’s car. We heard our neighbor looking for his wallet that morning, so we returned the wallet and refunded him for the damage caused by Chelsea and tried to iron out any creases in our relationship.
The following week however, we found Chelsea dead in our compound having bled and vomited all over the place. The signs were clearly those of poisoning. Was there motive behind it?
Poisoning can be malicious or accidental. Accidental poisoning can happen when pets ingest poisonous substances such as insecticides or medications (Panadol is very poisonous to cats). Accidental poisoning can also happen when people feed pets certain human foods such as chocolates, candy bars or even avocados which contain certain toxic substances. Malicious poisoning happens when pets are intentionally fed food laced with poison.
There are very many poisonous substances to pets which cause varied degree of signs and symptoms with the commonest being vomiting, bleeding, excessive vocalization, hypersalivation and nervous signs such as muscle tremors and convulsions.
What to do when you suspect that your pet has been poisoned.
1. Remove your pet away from the source of the poison to avoid further intoxication.
2. Keep your pet warm and confined.
3. Collect the suspected material for identification, this will help your vet determine the correct antidote.
4. Call your veterinarian.
Recovery from poisoning normally depends on the amount of poison consumed and the extent of damage.