That’s Mo, a Chow mix who lives with Cammie Owen — after being rescued from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, plagued by mange but ready to thrive in a new home. You would think the hurricane would have been enough of an ordeal that this dog should have had smooth sailing ever since, but then came a sudden, life-threatening sickness:
That’s Mo just days ago, his belly shaved after an ultrasound, as vets tried frantically to figure out what was wrong with him. Cammie says they believe he ingested rat poison — and she suspects that happened at Westcrest Park, where she has put up warning flyers. And she says he’s not the only dog that runs there that’s gotten sick:
We talked to Cammie this afternoon after reading a note she sent to an online group. She says Mo is recovering at home now, but still pretty lethargic. He got sick earlier this week — so sick, he needed blood transfusions, and that’s part of why it’s believed that rat poison is what made him sick; it interferes with blood clotting — the antidote is Vitamin K, and Cammie says Mo responded well to Vitamin K injections, followed by pills that he will have to take for several weeks.
How he might have ingested rat poison at Westcrest is a mystery. The Parks Department does not put out poison, confirms Carol Baker of the Seattle Parks Department‘s Southwest division. As for the possibility that a rat ate poison somewhere else and wound up at Westcrest, Cammie says Mo isn’t usually the type to play with rats, dead or alive.
After he got sick Monday night, Mo had to spend two nights in the hospital. His history as a Katrina survivor — adopted by Cammie after Pasado’s Safe Haven rescued him and brought him here — is well-known (his website is here), and her voice broke as she told us about the incredible outpouring of love and well-wishing for him.
She has put up flyers at Westcrest to warn others to be careful. And she says other dogs may already have gotten sick; she told WSB she’s talked with several people walking dogs at Westcrest who say the dogs had gotten sick. She says others have told her of seeing dead rats at the park. If you see anything suspicious, resembling poison, the Parks Department wants to hear from you — leave a message with its Southwest maintenance team at 684-7457 (and of course, if you see anything indicating an emergency, call 911).
While talking late today to Carol Baker from the Parks Department about the Westcrest concerns, we received the e-mail we mentioned in this earlier post. She said she had not received any reports about Fauntleroy Park concerns since the one involved in our original report in mid-January; she says Parks Department employees walked the trails to look for signs of the reported poison bait, but didn’t see anything.
You may wonder how you would know if your dog had been poisoned; a commenter asked that on our earlier thread, and in case you missed it here, this is Cammie’s reply:
“I can tell you what signs to look for, though symptoms might not be present for several days after digesting the poison. Signs include lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody vomit or diarrhea. Moâ€™s symptoms came on so fast, within hours. He ate a normal dinner, slept in his bed while we watched a movie (which is not abnormal for him so I thought nothing of it), then at 10 pm he was literally found so weak he could not hold his head up and could barely let out a whimper.
Here is some more information on Rat Poisoning in dogs.
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