Retriever becomes 14th victim of mystery poisonings

Five-year-old flat-coated retriever Erin has become the 14th victim of a mysterious toxin that’s claiming the lives of dogs in the New Forest and elsewhere in the south of the country.

The first sign of the disease, which so far has no name, includes lesions on the lower legs and feet, followed by kidney failure, which sets in two to seven days later.

Erin contracted the illness at St Catherine’s near Christchurch, Dorset, after which a blood test found a high level of toxicity and sent her to a specialist in Winchester.

Erin was put not a drip but as her condition worsened her owner, Tracy Graham, made the decision to put her down.

She said: “Her sore became really nasty but I couldn’t find a thorn or anything anywhere as I thought she had become infected. Unfortunately nobody told me to get her blood tested every day after she became ill. It may have picked up the toxin earlier and who knows – she could have been saved”

“When she began vomiting I just said ‘Please, put her down now’. It wasn’t fair on poor Erin.”

Since December 2013, 14 dogs have been killed by the disease, with five confirmed and seven unconfirmed cases in the New Forest.



Vets warn of mystery New Forest poison

A mystery toxin that is responsible for the deaths of at least 12 dogs is thought to have poisoned two more pets in the New Forest.

The two recent cases, which occurred a year after the initial outbreaks, have seen one dog die and another struggling to fight the toxin.

Many of the initial fatalities occurred between December 2012 and March 2013, suggesting that the toxin may be seasonal.

But despite the high number of fatalities, experts are no closer to identifying the toxin, which causes skin lesions and acute kidney failure.

Local vets have warned dog owners to be vigilant when walking in the forest throughout the winter and spring seasons.

Vet David Walker of Winchester-based Anderson Moores said: “Some of the first cases were presented this time last year and it’s incredibly concerning that it might be starting again.”

He continued:

“Our message to pet owners is to be vigilant and consult a vet immediately if their dog develops skin lesions.”

Dog owners across other parts of the UK have also been warned of the mystery toxin after cases have been reported in Cornwall, County Durham and Surrey.