One dog dead, another recovering after eating toxins

Janet Pacey with Candy
Janet Pacey with Candy, a 12-year-old shih tzu, who is recovering.
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One Yellowknife dog has died and another is recovering after apparently ingesting an unidentified toxin near Forrest Park.

Janet Pacey’s 12-year-old dogs, Roo and Candy, fell violently ill within a day of each other. Roo, an Australian terrier, died; shih tzu Candy is recovering after three days of “constant supervision” at the vet.

Pacey believes both dogs ate something in the green space behind her Forrest Park home. At first, she suspected someone may have left poison on the ground. Now, she says she’s less certain and has no evidence to support that.

The area has since been thoroughly searched by a team of Pacey’s friends, who found nothing untoward. Pacey doesn’t want to alarm fellow dog owners but says residents should be aware.

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On Facebook: ‘I saw her eat something in the bush’

“On the night of Canada Day my dog, Roo, was acting a little strangely,” Pacey told Moose FM. “We put him inside for a bit thinking he was a little overstimulated.

“A friend walked into the house shortly after and found him seizing. We rushed him straight to the vet but he succumbed to the seizures the next day around noon.

“The day after that, I witnessed my other dog, Candy, eating something in the wooded area behind Forrest Park. I didn’t see what it was. An hour later, she started to shake. I recognized the signs and rushed her straight to Dr Michael Hughes, who was able to treat her right away.

“She spent three days under constant supervision and is doing well now but there was some toxin they ingested and we have no idea what it was.”

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A toxicology screen of Candy’s blood, which will list the chemicals present in the small dog’s system, has been ordered but will not be available for up to two weeks.

Pacey says both dogs are so small that “it wouldn’t take much” to give them a fatal dose of any toxin. She says their symptoms were identical.

“The vet thinks it’s a toxin related to bug repellant or even a weedkiller but I personally don’t have any of those things in my yard. I know the harm it could do to pets. I’m really at a loss as to what it was,” she said.

“Friends went out into the bush and looked through everything they could find. There was some tinfoil in the area so we thought maybe someone did this on purpose. That was my first thought, originally, but I have no proof and I can’t see why anybody would do such a thing.

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“It could just be an accident, something that fell off somebody’s truck, something mixed in with some brush – a lot of people dump brush or things from their gardens back there. We may never know.

“There’s a ravens’ nest in the area – they could have brought something in and I did notice, last week, a dead raven in the area. Who knows? Maybe it’s all related.”

Pacey wants to be clear that there’s no evidence this was a malicious attack. While residents of Whitehorse have dealt with four suspected dog poisonings this year, Moose FM is not aware of any recent incidents of that nature in Yellowknife.

“I certainly don’t want to stop people having their regular routine. I just want to make sure they’re violently aware of everything that’s around them,” said Pacey, “and making sure their dogs are in eyesight so they can see if there’s something they have ingested.”

Pacey thanked the community for everyone’s support. “Roo was a great dog and Candy continues to get better,” she said.

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