Experts baffled by "deadly toxin" killing dogs in New Forest

SADNESS: Lauren and Louise Beal with their family dog, Monty, whose springer spaniel, Bruno, passed away

SADNESS: Lauren and Louise Beal with their family dog, Monty, whose springer spaniel, Bruno, passed away

First published in News by

POLLUTION experts are attempting to identify a deadly toxin that is thought to be killing dogs in the New Forest.

At least eight pets have died after injuring themselves at a popular beauty spot - sparking fears that the mystery substance could also pose a threat to human health.

All the dogs were taken ill after being exercised at Latchmore Brook, once part of a wartime bombing range near Fordingbridge.

Last night it was revealed that the Environment Agency has launched an investigation into the deaths amid fears that some of the ordnance is still in the ground.

The water or soil-born poison is thought to have been disturbed, possibly by recent heavy rain.
The Forestry Commission has begun a controversial stream restoration project in the area but says all it has done so far is fell a few trees.

A spokesman said: “The Commission is treating seriously reports of dogs falling ill and dying after walking in the Ogdens area.

“To help find out what is causing this distressing situation we have already got back to the only dog owner who has contacted us so far.

“We are in touch with other organisations, including the Environment Agency and New Forest District Council.

“The Commission has not undertaken any significant ground engineering work in area in recent months, despite speculation that the illness affecting dogs may be associated with work in the area.”

Vets say the toxin entered its victims' bloodstream, causing kidney failure, after the dogs cut their legs or paws.

Louise Beal, of North Gorley, lost her springer spaniel Bruno a week after exercising him near Ogdens car park.

Bruno suffered a cut paw, which Mrs Beal treated with disinfectant before taking him to the Linwood Veterinary Group at Verwood two days later.

Bruno was given antibiotics but his condition deteriorated rapidly.

He was hooked up to a drip and taken to renal specialists Anderson Moores in Winchester in the family car.

But all efforts to save him failed and he died last Saturday.

Mrs Beal said: “The vet thinks it's an unidentified toxin that has worked its way up through disturbed soil, a bit like anthrax.

“We just want to save other people having to go through this - it's been the most awful week.

“I'm worried that the weather will warm up and there will be small children up there. What if this affects humans too?”

Now the vet who treated Bruno, Duncan Reavell, is compiling a database in a bid to track down the cause of the dog deaths.

He said: “This cluster of cases is not chronic kidney failure caused by old age but acute kidney failure caused by something that we haven't been able to identify yet.”

Eight dogs have died over a three-month period but no other species appear to have been affected.

Roger Stobbs of the Forest Veterinary Clinic in Fordingbridge, said: “We don't know what's causing the deaths - they don't fit any normal pattern.

“I would advise dog walkers to stay away from the area.

“If they do go through there they should wash their dogs' feet when they get home so that they can examine them properly.

“If there's any sign of injury they should seek veterinary advice.”
 

Comments (10)

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12:28pm Tue 5 Mar 13

mysticalshoelace says...

Does anyone know what the toxin is?

Also I've heard from other dog walkers that several dogs have died recently as a result of poisoning at Kings Park in Bournemouth.
Does anyone know what the toxin is? Also I've heard from other dog walkers that several dogs have died recently as a result of poisoning at Kings Park in Bournemouth. mysticalshoelace
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Tue 5 Mar 13

stevobath says...

We had a series of cases in Bath area.

Someone had been spreading a treacle like substance on trees,bushes etc.It killed around 10 dogs a a fair few others
nearly died.

I'm not suggesting that this is the case in this instance.

It does happen though.

Personally I know that sap from certain trees can be lethal to dogs or cause severe allergic reactions.I never let my dog chew sticks because of this.
We had a series of cases in Bath area. Someone had been spreading a treacle like substance on trees,bushes etc.It killed around 10 dogs a a fair few others nearly died. I'm not suggesting that this is the case in this instance. It does happen though. Personally I know that sap from certain trees can be lethal to dogs or cause severe allergic reactions.I never let my dog chew sticks because of this. stevobath
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Tue 5 Mar 13

l'anglais says...

Is this linked to the story yesterday of New Forest deer being chased by dogs?
Is this linked to the story yesterday of New Forest deer being chased by dogs? l'anglais
  • Score: 0

10:46am Wed 6 Mar 13

Carolyn43 says...

mysticalshoelace wrote:
Does anyone know what the toxin is?

Also I've heard from other dog walkers that several dogs have died recently as a result of poisoning at Kings Park in Bournemouth.
No, no-one knows what the toxin is. As stated clearly in the article they are trying to identify it.
[quote][p][bold]mysticalshoelace[/bold] wrote: Does anyone know what the toxin is? Also I've heard from other dog walkers that several dogs have died recently as a result of poisoning at Kings Park in Bournemouth.[/p][/quote]No, no-one knows what the toxin is. As stated clearly in the article they are trying to identify it. Carolyn43
  • Score: 0

11:05am Wed 6 Mar 13

mysticalshoelace says...

Yes thanks for that, the article has been updated since I posted my comment.
Yes thanks for that, the article has been updated since I posted my comment. mysticalshoelace
  • Score: 0

10:40am Thu 7 Mar 13

H2o-hara says...

Norwich also has this problem .
Norwich also has this problem . H2o-hara
  • Score: 0

11:03am Thu 7 Mar 13

speedy231278 says...

"The water or soil-born poison is thought to have been disturbed, possibly by recent heavy rain."

"The Forestry Commission has begun a controversial stream restoration project in the area but says all it has done so far is fell a few trees."

“The Commission has not undertaken any significant ground engineering work in area in recent months, despite speculation that the illness affecting dogs may be associated with work in the area.”

So, the stuff's probably been buried underground for the best part of three quarters of a century without issue with all sorts of weather, yet when the Forestry Commission start tinkering in the area all of a sudden people's dogs are becoming poisoned? Unless people have only recently started walking dogs in the area, that's one hell of a coincidence, don't you think? Maybe the tree removal is having a significant effect on the water table in the area?
"The water or soil-born poison is thought to have been disturbed, possibly by recent heavy rain." "The Forestry Commission has begun a controversial stream restoration project in the area but says all it has done so far is fell a few trees." “The Commission has not undertaken any significant ground engineering work in area in recent months, despite speculation that the illness affecting dogs may be associated with work in the area.” So, the stuff's probably been buried underground for the best part of three quarters of a century without issue with all sorts of weather, yet when the Forestry Commission start tinkering in the area all of a sudden people's dogs are becoming poisoned? Unless people have only recently started walking dogs in the area, that's one hell of a coincidence, don't you think? Maybe the tree removal is having a significant effect on the water table in the area? speedy231278
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Fri 8 Mar 13

mysticalshoelace says...

There is an update from the specialist vet here: http://www.andersonm
oores.com/vet/news/
There is an update from the specialist vet here: http://www.andersonm oores.com/vet/news/ mysticalshoelace
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Sat 9 Mar 13

Avengerboy says...

Once again we can see pollution is our problem today not global warming, the planets doomed anyway.
Once again we can see pollution is our problem today not global warming, the planets doomed anyway. Avengerboy
  • Score: 0

7:14am Mon 11 Mar 13

Missmydog says...

We went to cornwall with a very healthy 16 year old dog in February half term. On our return She developed a twitch which turned into severe fits which couldn't be helped by anti biotics and we had to have her put down. The vet said it may have been toxic poising or a brain tumor. Still in shock and mising our dog and Just wondered after reading about these other poor dogs if there was a connection although i know there is a long distance between Cornwall and Dorset.
We went to cornwall with a very healthy 16 year old dog in February half term. On our return She developed a twitch which turned into severe fits which couldn't be helped by anti biotics and we had to have her put down. The vet said it may have been toxic poising or a brain tumor. Still in shock and mising our dog and Just wondered after reading about these other poor dogs if there was a connection although i know there is a long distance between Cornwall and Dorset. Missmydog
  • Score: 0

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