Amazing dog makes miraculous recovery
■ A pet dog has made a “miraculous” recovery after spending two days fighting for its life following a suspected deliberate poisoning, South Hedland vets say.
Pets and Vets supervisor veterinary surgeon Steve Van Mil sent the female American Staffordshire home with a clean bill of health.
Vets had earlier found snail poison and raisins in the dog’s tummy, which they suspected had been thrown over the property fence.
“She was convulsing so severely and her temperature was so dangerously high that the risk of her expiring was very high,” Dr Van Mil said.
“The fact she has survived … is amazing.
“She has suffered some liver damage but we expect that will recover fully … otherwise she is bright, alert and she is eating.”
The dog and its owners attracted waves of support on social media amid further alarm the owners had found a trail of snail pellets in a public area near their house.
South Hedland Vet Hospital locum veterinarian Laura Sabine responded to the initial emergency earlier this month when the dog’s owner noticed it had wobbly legs and tremors.
By the time the dog arrived at the vet shortly after, its tremors had turned violent and it began having seizures.
Ms Sabine spent three hours pumping its stomach.
She was shocked when she flushed raisins and a “massive” quantity of snail or slug pellets from the dog’s tummy, along with what looked like gauze packaging.
She said she had never recovered so much toxic material from an animal during her 10 years as a vet.
“It is well-known that snail bait and grapes or raisins can poison dogs and also (we found) a gauze material and a little bow, suggesting this had been tied up in perhaps a meat-flavoured package,” she said. “I’m highly suspicious somebody has thrown something over (the owner’s) high fences.”
Dr Van Mil credited the owner’s quick response, the dog’s youth and the vet care with saving its life.
“She is pretty tough and she has got youth on her side … but there was a hell of a lot of intensive care, (veterinarian) Laura was up with her all Wednesday night, ” he said.
He said the dog’s recovery was a fabulous outcome given the terrible suffering snail poisons could cause.
“Colloquially, we call snail pellet poisoning shake and bake, because the animals convulse violently and they can basically cook themselves with extremely elevated body temperatures,” he said.