An emergency vet practice which treated dogs apparently poisoned in Tayport has offered potentially life-saving advice to owners.
Since the start of the year, one dog has died after ingesting rat poison and three others suffered symptoms consistent with cannabis intoxication in a spate of incidents linked to the Tayport Common area.
Police Scotland, which investigated the only incident reported to officers, said a vet had determined a “psychoactive substance” was responsible for a Labrador falling ill in recent days. The dog made a full recovery.
Police said the incident was not being treated as a deliberate attempt to harm an animal.
All of the dogs affected were Labradors and a number of them were treated at Vets Now, an out-of-hours service based in Dundee.
District vet Richard White from the practice urged dog owners to prevent their pets from putting things in their mouths while out for a walk and to wipe down their paws afterwards.
He said: “While we cannot discuss individual cases due to client confidentiality, it’s our understanding that a number of the dogs we have treated were walked regularly in Tayport Common, which is a popular local dog walking area.
“This is not to imply that the dogs picked up the toxic substances from this area in all cases, however.”
It is not known if cannabis was “stashed” at the common or accidentally discarded.
Mr White urged dog owners to remain vigilant and contact a vet immediately if their pet has eaten anything toxic.
“Clinical signs can start in as little as 15 minutes and early treatment is important,” he said.
“Owners should be alert to the early signs such as nausea, drooling, wobbliness and lack of coordination, which can progress rapidly to tremors and seizures and I recommend all pet owners to thoroughly wipe down their pets’ paws and muzzles after a walk.
“They should also take care to avoid their dog picking up things in their mouth whilst on a walk to reduce the risk of them swallowing anything which may be toxic.”
Mr White added: “Our emergency vets have treated scores of dogs for suspected poisoning since our out-of-hours pet emergency clinic in Dundee opened in November 2018.
“The majority of those involved toxic foods such as chocolate and raisins, although we have also seen cases in which rodenticide, cannabis and poisonous flowers were the likely causes of toxicity.”