Pet owners warned after vet’s close call with rat poison in Oak Bay


WATCH: A Victoria veterinarian is warning other pet owners after her dog’s close call with rat poison. Earlier this week her pet almost ate a pellet while out on a walk in Oak Bay. As Luisa Alvarez tells us, the pellets come in different colours and can be lethal to your pet.

Dr. Amber Johanson was out walking her dogs in Oak Bay Tuesday when her dog came across a pink pellet like object in plain view laying on the side of the sidewalk.

Johanson said she immediately knew what it was.

“I was paying attention to what he was doing and quickly recognized what he was about to put in his mouth grabbed it away from him and it was a pretty sizable chunk of rat poison,” said Johanson.

Johanson credits her background as a veterinarian for being able to recognize the poison because she says its tough to recognize if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking at.

“It also comes in bright green and bright blue so all very appetizing colors its sort of particulate and kind of a rectangular shape although if its broken off it could be just about any shape but if you don’t know what it is I don’t think you would pick up on it really quickly,”said Johanson.

The poison was found in an upscale Oak Bay neighbourhood along Beach Drive but Johanson says it could have come from anywhere.

“Small animals like rats or squirrels can easily relocate pieces of poison if they aren’t kept in secured boxes so I imagine that’s what happened is that a small animal relocated it and that’s just where it was dropped,” said Johanson.

She says the main thing she hopes to get across is for pet owners to be vigilant while out walking their dog and to keep a close eye on what they might put in their mouths.

This situation had the best possible outcome but Johanson says it could have been much worse and it goes to show how dangerous putting out poisons can be especially when they end up near non-target animals.

“Some products can cause bleeding to death, other products can cause kidney failure other products can cause neurological signs and then there are other products on the market that are a lot safer so just looking at it I had no idea what product that was or how dangerous it could have been for my dog,” said Johanson.

She says in any situation where your pet may have been exposed to or ingested poisons it’s important to call the animal poison control hotlines and take them to see a veterinarian right away.

“It could be lethal it all depends on the product and the dose which is why it’s always a good idea to call the toxicologist so they can help out with all the calculations that go with trying to figure out what dose the dog may have ingested,” said Johanson.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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