That’s Coco the dog, wearing bandages where she needed IV treatment for medications and fluids after an apparent poisoning right in her own yard in the 47th/Genesee vicinity (here’s a map). We first heard from Coco’s owner Kate K very early this morning, and then a followup after they visited the vet – she’s also put up flyers to get the word out (we just got e-mail about one of them) – here’s her story:
This was our first e-mail from Kate around 1:30 this morning:
Had to rush my dog Coco to the vet this evening because she was poisoned with rat or snail bait. We don’t keep that around because we have pets so how did it get in our fenced yard? Our dog Coco (Australian Cattle Dog) is doing better but it was a huge scare. I wonder if this has happened to anyone else in the neighborhood. I can give you more details tomorrow and I’ll also be making a police report in the morning and will put up flyers warning people. We have lots of dogs on this street and I’m scared for them. We’re lucky we were home when she first fell ill and that Coco is so young and healthy. An older, smaller or weaker dog might not have pulled through.
We e-mailed Kate back immediately and said we’d wait to talk with her the next day (today) – we have since communicated by phone and e-mail.
Kate says, “About 45 minutes after we think she ate the poison in the yard last night, she started having tremors, paralysis and vomiting.” She says this is what Dr. Beth Guerra wrote in the report from Animal Critical Care:
Presumptive Diagnosis: Metaldehyde Toxicity
I suspect Coco has ingested a tremorgenic toxin, possibly slugbait poison which contains metaldehyde, a chemical that causes neurological and musculoskeletal signs. If these clinical signs are severe enough, exposure can be fatal. It is imperative to have an animal seen if there is even a possibility of ingestion. The initial signs of metaldehyde exposure include restlessness and anxiety. This progresses to salivation, tremors and ataxia/incoordination. At advanced stages of toxicity, rapid heart and respiratory rates occur, along with
convulsions, seizures and extremely high body temperatures.
Kate says Coco is doing better now, and adds that she is filing a report with Seattle Police. We asked if she knew of any reason why someone might deliberately try to hurt Coco – neighbor dispute, or ? She said she has no idea; Coco barks when people pass the yard, but certainly that’s not unusual. “I don’t have a clue who would do this,” Kate told us, “and that’s why it’s so frightening.” 3:28 PM UPDATE: For those who don’t usually read comments – Kate has posted an update there, after talking with authorities.