The Volusia County, Florida Sheriff’s Department reports today that chicken pieces stuffed with aspirin were found spread around Michael Crotty Bicentennial Park on Ocean Shore Boulevard in Ormond By The Sea. One woman’s dog is gravely ill after ingesting the tainted meat. The Sheriff’s Department believes that this is no accident, and that the pieces were deliberately put in the park in attempt to sicken and kill any dog that ate the tainted fowl.
As many as a dozen pieces of meat with Ibuprofen pills hidden inside the fatty portions, were discovered in the park. One woman’s dog, named Rex, is currently fighting for his life after ingesting the poisoned parts. According to his owner, he has kidney damage that may be permanent, and he might not survive the poisoning. Another owner, who was at the park with her dog, Brody, noticed one piece on the ground, and then more and more scattered around. She alerted the other dog owners who promptly removed their pets from the park.
The Sheriff’s Department is investigating. The first poisoning event occurred on Wednesday, but some owners did not find out about that incident until today, after they read a letter left behind by a concerned dog owner, whose dog ingested the tainted meat. Residents and park visitors are very upset, “we’re not bothering anybody, it doesn’t butt up against any homes. I don’t get it.” According to a local veterinarian, if a 10 pound dog gets a full pill of Ibuprofen, which just over the counter is 200 milligrams, that’s enough to put some dogs into kidney failure. If gone untreated, ingesting the pain killer could put some dogs into toxic shock.
Ingesting aspirin products is extremely harmful to dogs, and even more so to cats. When aspirin, or its similar salicylate-containing compounds are inappropriately ingested, it can result in severe poisoning to both species. Sources of aspirin include Pepto-Bismol®, topical medications, such as shampoos, medications for acne, warts, calluses. Other sources are make-up including foundations and concealers, ointments for pain such as Bengay®, HEET®, Icy Hot, etc, and oil of wintergreen.
Cats are much more sensitive to aspirin poisoning than dogs. Signs of aspirin poisoning in dogs or cats include gastrointestinal ones like vomiting, diarrhea, vomiting of blood, black-tarry stool, stomach ulcers. There may be hyperthermia, respiratory changes, bone marrow suppression, kidney failure, and central nervous system signs such as collapse, extreme weakness, tremors, seizures, cerebral edema.
If you suspect your dog or cat were poisoned by aspirin, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment recommendations. Aggressive treatment is necessary with toxic amounts, and includes decontamination, gastrointestinal protectants, symptomatic and supportive care, IV fluids, and blood work monitoring.
There are a number of pet poison hotlines: The Animal Poison Hotline, Phone: 1-888-232-8870 ($35.00 per incident), the Pet Poison Hotline Phone: 1-800-213-6680 ($39.00 per incident includes initial consultation and follow-up calls) and the ASPCA Phone: 1-888-426-4435 ($65.00 consultation fee) then call 1-888-299-2973 for no additional charge follow-up calls)
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