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Burnaby animal hospital issues warning over suspected dog poisoning

Click to play video 'North Vancouver RCMP investigate an apparent dog poisoning' North Vancouver RCMP investigate an apparent dog poisoning
A dog is recovering from an apparent poisoning after he consumed something off a rock while on a walk with his owner in North Vancouver. Tanya Beja reports.

A Burnaby veterinary clinic is warning pet owners following a suspected dog poisoning.

The incident occurred in North Vancouver Friday afternoon.

“Hutch,” a seven-year-old Australian Shepherd, went out for a walk with his owner on Tollcross Road, near Lionsgate Christian Academy.

READ MORE: 2 dogs sickened from eating PCP at Kits Beach, and now owners are being warned

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.

“It was very different than his normal seizure, it was more violent, it lasted longer.”

Veterinarians hooked Hutch up to an IV to help him recover.
Veterinarians hooked Hutch up to an IV to help him recover. Supplied

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.

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Lind-Petersen said when Hutch arrived, he couldn’t even lift his head.

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

Staff at the pet hospital suspected he had been poisoned.

WATCH: Red Deer family heart-broken after dog poisoned

READ MORE: Cranbrook vet warns of possible dog poisonings in community forest

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.

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“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.”

Traywick said the original, threatening signs are gone and have been replaced by a sign warning pet owners.

Hutch is now recovering at home after being given IV fluids and anti-nausea medicine.

Staff reported the incident to North Vancouver RCMP.