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POISON WARNING - Someone is leaving rat poison in Strathcona Park. Several dogs have become very sick

Poison Warning - Strathcona Park
Someone is leaving rat poison in Strathcona Park. Several neighbourhood dogs have become very sick and rat carcasses have been found across the park, with a concentration toward Cottonwood Gardens.

Strathconans and off leash park visitors are advised to be extra vigilant and keep an eye on their dogs. It takes very little poison to cause serious toxicosis, especially in smaller dogs.

Suspect Description

Cottonwood gardeners [EDIT: since this post we've been informed that the note was posted by dog walkers from Vancouver Animal control not Cottonwood Gardeners - who would have alerted the Cottonwood board and in turn the SRA] have reported a white male, 45-55 years old, 5'8" - 5'10" with dark hair and moustache carrying a dark bag and scattering what is believed to be poison. He is reportedly not a gardener and leaves the garden or goes into the bushes when people approach. It is not clear if he is embedding the poison in food or just scattering it.

If you have any information please call 3-1-1, or if you have seen person(s) doing this please call the non-emergency VPD line (604) 717-3321

Symptoms of Rat Poisoning

If you suspect your dog has ingested rat poison you should seek medical advice immediately

Common symptoms of toxicosis in dogs include loss of appetite, impaired movement, paralysis of the animal’s hind limbs, slight muscle tremors, generalized seizures, and a depression of the central nervous system. Ingestion of extremely high doses may cause a sudden onset of muscle tremors, and even seizures.

Clinical signs usually develop within two to seven days of bromethalin ingestion; however, it is possible that signs will not develop for up to two weeks following ingestion. If poisoning is mild, with minimal bromethalin ingestion, symptoms may resolve within one to two weeks of onset, although some dogs may continue to show signs for four to six weeks.

Bromethalin rodenticide toxicity occurs with the ingestion of rodenticides containing the chemical bromethalin. Dogs may also be targets of secondary poisoning if they eat rats or mice that have ingested the poison themselves. Toxic doses of bromethalin are estimated to be 2.5 mg/kg for dogs.

If bromethalin toxicosis occurs, the dog’s digestive tract needs to be decontaminated as soon as possible. This may initially be done by inducing vomiting, and then administering activated charcoal and an osmotic cathartic (this induces the dog’s bowels to empty). This should be done every four to eight hours for at least two to three days following poisoning, or as prescribed by your veterinarian.