By Alesha Capone
A Wyndham vet has warned dog owners to remain vigilant while walking their pets along Skeleton Creek, after a potential case of poisoning with snail bait occurred in the area.
Veterinarian Dr Karen Davies, from Direct Vet Services in Point Cook, said that a family brought their Labrador Retriever in to see her on November 17 following a walk near the creek, in the vicinity of Bellbridge Drive and Angela Drive.
Dr Davies said the otherwise-healthy Labrador Retriever began experiencing a “severe episode” of vomiting and diarrhea shortly after his walk.
Dr Davies said that the dog’s vomit was a particular shade of blue, which vets associated with snail bait.
“There really are not many products with blue dye in them in which the distinct colour is distributed so evenly through the gastric product,” she said.
“It is most likely that it was snail bait.”
Dr Davies said she could not say for sure that someone had placed snail bait along Skeleton Creek in an attempt to poison dogs, and that it was possible the Labrador Retriever could have eaten the bait after it was sprinkled in a private garden near the waterway.
“But if the dog head eaten more of it, we would expect to see full body, grand mal seizures (loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions) and potentially even death,” she said.
Dr Davies said she contacted other vet clinics in Wyndham to warn them about the possible baiting, and that no other vets had reported a similar case.
She said that luckily, the Labrador Retriever had made a full recovery after falling ill.
“He’s fine, he’s had no other symptoms,” she said.
Wyndham council’s Manager of City Amenity and Safety, Richard Maugueret, said the council had received notification about possible snail baiting in the area of Skeleton Creek, Hoppers Crossing.
“Council inspected the general area that was reported and did not find any sign of baiting,” he said.
“This is an important reminder that pet owners keep their dogs on a leash and remain vigilant that their dogs do not eat anything that is not directly provided by them.
“Anyone who suspects baiting is taking place should make a report to Council or the RSPCA.”