BURGLARS may be stooping to silencing dogs watching over homes by baiting them with rat poison.
A Wagga veterinarian has hit out at recent rat poisoning of dogs, which can cause an agonising death from internal bleeding.
Dr Becci Brabin posted a warning on the Wagga Veterinary Hospital website after four dogs were brought into the practice last weekend.
“Please be alert to this activity unfortunately occurring in our town,” Dr Brabin wrote.
“Please share so that all pet owners can be vigilant to this atrocious behaviour.”
Dr Brabin on Thursday said the post had already reached 40,000 people.
“I think it’s because they fear this is something they could fall victim to, as well,” Dr Brabin said of the big response.
Dr Brabin said a Labrador and two terrier breeds were poisoned in the one yard in Glenfield Park, while a Labrador was baited in Estella.
She said the dog owners found their pets chewing on rat bait, but thankfully it was detected early and the animals treated successfully.
Dr Brabin said generally there were two reasons for people baiting dogs – the dogs are a nuisance to them because of their barking or they want to “knock off” the dogs so they can rob a house.
“The dogs alert someone that there is unusual behaviour or activity around the house,” Dr Brabin said.
She said the dogs baited last weekend were in their backyards.
In the Glenfield Park incident, the property backed on to a pedestrian lane and the dog owner found an empty bucket of rat poison in the lane.
Snail bait and rat poison are the two most common substances used to bait pets.
It can be difficult to treat, harrowing and expensive- Dr Becci Brabin
“They are palatable to dogs in the same way they palatable to rats and mice,” Dr Brabin said.
“With snail bait they have seizures and with rat poison it makes the blood unable to clot, so they bleed to death.”
She said pet baiting was distressing.
“It can be difficult to treat, harrowing and expensive,” she said.
There is an antidote for rat poisoning that make the blood clot again, but with snail bait it depends on the active ingredient in the product.
“Some have an antidote,” Dr Brabin said.
She said both rat poison and snail bait
The vet said if dog owners saw their dogs chewing on anything they could not identify or they noticed blue, green or red discolouration in dog faeces it may be the result of baiting.
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