Veterinarian Geoff Freeth is warning dog owners to keep a close eye on their pets when visiting reserves following the recent death of a labrador cross.
Dr Freeth said the dog, which was primarily treated by veterinarian Sara Biasutti at Canobolas Pet Hospital, died after ingesting 1080 fox bait while visiting the Ophir reserve, although it’s not clear who deposited the bait via a poisoned chicken head.
“1080 is a fox bait that has low toxicity to native animals but is very toxic to canines,” he said.
“There is a misunderstanding of 1080.
“Conventional wisdom says that it is leached with one rainfall and it’s a fast acting poison.
“Both are mostly true but not necessarily and that makes it possible for the dog that was poisoned to have picked it up beforehand or for the poisoned chicken head to have been carried into the reserve, especially by a native animal.”
Dr Freeth said despite being involved in the treatment of some 100 to 120 cases of 1080 poisoning in the past 22 years, he’s only seen one animal survive.
“It’s a nasty, nasty bait,” he said.
“When I see one, for welfare reasons, I strongly recommend euthanasia as soon as it is diagnosed because the fitting is horrendous, especially when the success rate of treatment is so poor.”