Fish bones prompt plea from one man

Taupo Times - - OUT & ABOUT - STEPH RANGI

Be­ing able to walk a dog with­out fear of them swal­low­ing some­thing they shouldn’t is be­com­ing a big con­cern for one an­i­mal lover.

Dave Cade, known to many as Didymo Dave, says it is time to raise aware­ness about the risk of dis­carded fish car­casses.

Over the past month, Cade has been busy look­ing af­ter many friend’s dogs. While out walk­ing, on three sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions in the re­serve close to Waita­hanui, two of the pups Cade has been look­ing af­ter have dug up or dragged out a to­tal of four dis­carded fish re­mains.

The fish car­casses that were buried, were done so on the Ton­gariro river mouth.

‘‘I’m more con­cerned about the bones. I don’t want any­body los­ing a pet be­cause peo­ple don’t dis­card their fish re­mains prop­erly.’’

Six month old Ranger was the first pup to dig up buried fish guts and bones while 8 week old, Fly, wasn’t far be­hind him.

Ranger even dragged a snap­per head out of a bush on the re­serve.

‘‘If a puppy like the size of the one’s I’ve been look­ing af­ter can dig and pick them up, then so too can the rats,’’ Cade said.

While Cade is aware there is no ac­tual re­stric­tion on gut­ting and bury­ing fish, he says it will be best prac­tice to take them home.

‘‘You should be able to run your dog around with­out fear of them chok­ing on some­thing they shouldn’t,’’ he said.

A Taupo District Coun­cil spokesper­son con­firmed there was no re­stric­tion against bury­ing fish car­casses on ar­eas that aren’t Coun­cil owned but throw­ing them in the bush could be con­sid­ered lit­ter­ing.

Cal­lum Irvine, head of vet­eri­nary ser­vices at the New Zealand Vet As­so­ci­a­tion said it is un­usual for dogs to get sick from dig­ging up fish car­casses but there is al­ways a risk of some­thing go­ing wrong.

Rot­ting flesh al­ways holds a risk and so too, can bones.

‘‘Small bones can get stuck in around the teeth and there is also a very slim chance they could per­fo­rate and ir­ri­tate the stom­ach,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s just a note for dog own­ers to be very care­ful about where their dog digs and what they dig up.’’

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