Another dog killed by mystery toxin in the New Forest

Gemma, who died last year

Gemma, who died last year

First published in News
Last updated

IT has killed at least 12 dogs and left two others seriously ill.

Now a mystery toxin that struck fear into the hearts of dog owners across the New Forest is thought to have poisoned another two pets.

One dog managed to fight off the substance but another animal had to be put down.

It comes a year after the first outbreak, sparking fears that the next few months will see another spate of deaths.

But experts are no nearer identifying the toxin, which causes skin lesions and acute kidney failure in its victims.

Most of the initial fatalities occurred at various locations across the Forest between December 2012 and March 2013.

The timing of the two new cases suggest that the cause could be seasonal in nature but the poison’s origin remains a mystery – despite extensive testing carried out by various organisations last year.

Vets alarmed at the possibility of a fresh outbreak are urging dog owners in the Forest to be vigilant.

One of the practices involved in treating the poisoned pets and investigating their deaths is Winchester-based Anderson Moores.

Commenting on the two new incidents vet David Walker said: “The first dog developed skin lesions and went on to suffer kidney problems. It was hospitalised for more than a week but managed to pull through.

“The second animal became ill incredibly quickly and was in hospital for only 48 hours before it had to be put down.”

The dogs are understood to have been infected in the Sway and Wilverley areas of the Forest.

Mr Walker added: “Some of the first cases were presented this time last year and it’s incredibly concerning that it might be starting again.

“A huge amount of testing was done in 2013 but failed to provide a conclusive answer.

“Our message to pet owners is to be vigilant and consult a vet immediately if their dog develops skin lesions.”

One of the 2013 victims was three-year-old Gemma, who died after being exercised at Linwood, near Ringwood.

A Jack Russell called Squibby is one of only three pets known to have survived the toxin. She developed a swollen paw after going for a run near Latchmore Brook and spent nine days on a drip.

No other animal species appears to have been affected by the poison.

The mystery took a new twist last year after it was revealed that similar cases had been reported elsewhere in the UK, including Cornwall, County Durham and Surrey.

Comments (9)

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10:38am Tue 14 Jan 14

delta3 says...

Why after all that testing cant they find the problem? It must be a chemical, bacteria or virus so why the problem solving it? I thought at the time samples were being sent to labs abroad? I now choose to avoid the area for fear of losing my family dog.
Why after all that testing cant they find the problem? It must be a chemical, bacteria or virus so why the problem solving it? I thought at the time samples were being sent to labs abroad? I now choose to avoid the area for fear of losing my family dog. delta3
  • Score: 3

10:41am Tue 14 Jan 14

suzigirl says...

delta3 wrote:
Why after all that testing cant they find the problem? It must be a chemical, bacteria or virus so why the problem solving it? I thought at the time samples were being sent to labs abroad? I now choose to avoid the area for fear of losing my family dog.
Exactly - responsible dog owners should avoid the areas identified until the mystery is solved!
[quote][p][bold]delta3[/bold] wrote: Why after all that testing cant they find the problem? It must be a chemical, bacteria or virus so why the problem solving it? I thought at the time samples were being sent to labs abroad? I now choose to avoid the area for fear of losing my family dog.[/p][/quote]Exactly - responsible dog owners should avoid the areas identified until the mystery is solved! suzigirl
  • Score: 7

11:37am Tue 14 Jan 14

BIGTONE says...

I think the MOD should be asked questions if they have used these areas for weapons / chemical testing in the past.
Buried corroding canisters will fracture in a uniform time period.
Or better still a FOI request.
I assume the other incidents over the country involve large open spaces/forests?
I think the MOD should be asked questions if they have used these areas for weapons / chemical testing in the past. Buried corroding canisters will fracture in a uniform time period. Or better still a FOI request. I assume the other incidents over the country involve large open spaces/forests? BIGTONE
  • Score: 2

12:59pm Tue 14 Jan 14

EddieVH says...

Best write-up for those wanting facts rather than swivel-eyed conspiracy theories:

http://www.andersonm
oores.com/vet/news
Best write-up for those wanting facts rather than swivel-eyed conspiracy theories: http://www.andersonm oores.com/vet/news EddieVH
  • Score: 5

7:58pm Tue 14 Jan 14

GeorgeW64 says...

Best thing to do if you do walk your dog in that area is to muzzle it so it cant eat anything.
Best thing to do if you do walk your dog in that area is to muzzle it so it cant eat anything. GeorgeW64
  • Score: 0

9:42pm Tue 14 Jan 14

BIGTONE says...

EddieVH wrote:
Best write-up for those wanting facts rather than swivel-eyed conspiracy theories:

http://www.andersonm

oores.com/vet/news
"Despite extensive further testing the exact underlying cause unfortunately remains unknown. "



So, considering they still don't have a clue what's causing this,it only strengthens the idea of asking the MOD. A solution needs to be found quickly and all avenues need exploring for the sake of the animals.
[quote][p][bold]EddieVH[/bold] wrote: Best write-up for those wanting facts rather than swivel-eyed conspiracy theories: http://www.andersonm oores.com/vet/news[/p][/quote]"Despite extensive further testing the exact underlying cause unfortunately remains unknown. " So, considering they still don't have a clue what's causing this,it only strengthens the idea of asking the MOD. A solution needs to be found quickly and all avenues need exploring for the sake of the animals. BIGTONE
  • Score: 1

9:56pm Tue 14 Jan 14

pjsspeed says...

This website has reached a new low. Here I am reading a story about dogs being killed by an unkown toxin in the new forest, and up pops an ad in the middle of it advertising a florist, totally tasteless.
This website has reached a new low. Here I am reading a story about dogs being killed by an unkown toxin in the new forest, and up pops an ad in the middle of it advertising a florist, totally tasteless. pjsspeed
  • Score: 3

1:46pm Wed 15 Jan 14

mumble says...

pjsspeed wrote:
This website has reached a new low. Here I am reading a story about dogs being killed by an unkown toxin in the new forest, and up pops an ad in the middle of it advertising a florist, totally tasteless.
Not a 'new' low unfortunately, during all the furore last year regarding travellers, the stories were entirely surrounded by adverts for caravans and mobile homes on more than one occasion.
[quote][p][bold]pjsspeed[/bold] wrote: This website has reached a new low. Here I am reading a story about dogs being killed by an unkown toxin in the new forest, and up pops an ad in the middle of it advertising a florist, totally tasteless.[/p][/quote]Not a 'new' low unfortunately, during all the furore last year regarding travellers, the stories were entirely surrounded by adverts for caravans and mobile homes on more than one occasion. mumble
  • Score: 1

2:32pm Tue 21 Jan 14

just-concerned says...

Is it too simple to be some sort of mushroom that is causing the problem.

Amatoxin poisoning sounds pretty serious and because of the 'fishy' smell some of the family produce dogs could be more attracted to them.

We have had a fairly wet couple of years so this could account for perhaps an increase in their numbers

Just a thought and I guess this was ruled out ages ago.
Is it too simple to be some sort of mushroom that is causing the problem. Amatoxin poisoning sounds pretty serious and because of the 'fishy' smell some of the family produce dogs could be more attracted to them. We have had a fairly wet couple of years so this could account for perhaps an increase in their numbers Just a thought and I guess this was ruled out ages ago. just-concerned
  • Score: 0

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