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DOG POISONINGS AND POISON-PROOFING

 

COVID stress is killing dogs as rational people do irrational things. Here is protection information and dog show precautions if you have a winner.

 

March 09, 2021 update

NetPlaces Network Staff

 

do not leave your dog unattended in the dog show grooming areaThe third week in March is National Animal Poison Prevention Week and 2020 was a bad year for dogs. Over 220,000 pet poisonings reported of which an estimated 165,000 involved dogs.

 

In 2011 TheDogPress warned readers about the risk of having a dog poisoned by a dog show competitor, a neighbor, or a whacko with a grudge. We received only two reports involving show dogs in 2013. Then in 2016 there was a rash of poisonings in the Great Lakes area. Just this week a Georgia family lost all three of their dogs to poison so we decided to update this poison protection information.

 

Dog shows have often been the scene of the crime because busy grooming or benching areas are easy-access targets.

 

There are many documented examples, from the fatal Borzoi poisoning in the late 80s to the Hoehn’s Top Ten Akita, slated for the Florida circuit with Jim Berger (a successful handler-now-judge). The suspect, a competing handler, was never charged because Purdue University was unable isolate the poison believed to have been injected when the dog and handler were in the crush line entering the Group ring.  More on that in a minute.

 

Poisoning a neighbor or competitor’s dog isn’t new.

teach your dog to accept food only from somone he knowsIn 1895, 8 Toy dogs, Yorkies, Charlies and Chins were poisoned at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.  All 8 dogs died.  The two veterinarians who tried to save them diagnosed the poison as strychnine.

 

Frenchies were poisoned at the Ladies KC show in 2008 and in March of 2010, PETA was accused of putting antifreeze in water bowls at the Belleville WA shows.

 

Ralph Ullum was arrested for drugging a Siberian Husky at the Wheaton KC Show. {Ref #1} Handler Jessica Plourde, several hours after the initial complaint, found a local veterinarian to come to the show grounds to induced vomiting.  Based on accusations and a pill found in the men's restroom, police charged Ullum with feeding Protonix and possibly Benadryl to the handler's dog.

 

There are twisted people everywhere in 2021, more than ever before in our history. It can happen in your neighborhood but dog parks are at special risk. To add to the horror of knowing such people exist...

 

Some poisons are difficult to detect.

Easy-to-obtain poisons like antifreeze are deadly when added to a dog’s drinking water or injected. Purdue University could not determine the substance used to poison the Akita but stated it had to be something that rapidly dissipates. Potassium chloride (called KCl) does just that and although it is used as a lethal injection in some states it is not difficult to obtain.

 

NatGeo reveals there are 1,200 kinds of poisonous marine organisms, 700 poisonous fish, 400 venomous snakes, 60 poisonous ticks, 75 scorpions, 200 spiders, 750 poisonous plants and even birds whose feathers are toxic when touched or ingested.

 

 

National Poison Control Phone Number

The best phone number to call in an emergency is 1-800-222-1222 the National Poison Control Center which will automatically connect to their free service in your state. Depending on who answers, you may get quick, basic information for animal poisoning and it is free, 24-7.

 

Emergency treatment depends on the type of poison used but it is rare that an owner or handler knows what was given to the dog.  Mustard is usually handy and can induce vomiting but with some poisons, vomiting would be the worst thing to do.

 

Rather than waste time with inappropriate treatment, look for evidence of any substance that could be poisonous to a dog.  A wrapper, a bottle, a syringe; grab anything suspicious.  If you are at a dog show, have show officials page the on-site veterinarian while you get directions to the closest emergency veterinary service and someone to drive you there.  If you are at home alone, the same thing applies. Get a neighbor to take you to the veterinarian so that you can try to comfort the dog while on the way.

 

Poison proofing your dog

Police and guard dogs are usually trained to not accept treats from strangers. Premise and home security dogs are at greater risk of being surreptitiously poisoned and should be effectively trained to only eat from their own bowl or from a family member's hand. If the dog has to be boarded or hospitalized, take one of his two bowls.

 

Westminster Kennel Club Working Dog Group judgingThere are numerous sites offering poison-proofing advice BUT if you teach a show dog not to take tidbits from strangers, it will be a bit more difficult to hand him off to someone else to show.

 

On the other hand, if he's a show dog, a proper introduction to the handler or your friend will be understood by the seasoned "show dog."

 

Never allow a stranger to give him a treat. If at a show and you have to leave your dog unattended, cover his crate with well-ventilated a mesh cover and if necessary use a fan to be sure he's comfortable.

 

If you use a professional handler, make sure he/she has assistants trained to be alert for any suspicious behavior by visitors to their set-up.  If you owner handle, establish a buddy system with those crated around you so you can watch each other's dogs.  Don't be paranoid, just be watchful.  Don't let bad people ruin good shows.

 

Whether at your home, business, the dog park or a dog show, take precautions to protect your best friend. Big dog or little friend, he does the same for you.

 

Reference Information: {1} Handler Ralph Ullum Innocent, AKC Suspends Anyway...

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