This morning we had to shoot the most beautiful dog I think we have ever had. It was a terrible way to start the day.
In the early hours of this morning Ted was barking like crazy. He is pretty good at night as a rule, because we trained him to be quiet at night.
He only ever barked at night if there was a fox prowling, or if another dog turned up at our house. When Ted started barking and just wouldn't stop, I went out to investigate. I couldn't see anything as it was so dark. I couldn't spot a fox or anything at all, so we went back to bed. He barked on and off until 6.00 and I went out there to see if there was in fact another dog annoying him, but he seemed to be barking at anything and everything. He started biting his poly kennel as he thought it was attacking him when he raced past it. I couldn't get him to stop barking and I realised that he just couldn't really see me, or he was hallucinating terribly. My husband noticed that his eyes were popping out and that he had crazy eyes. It was terrible.
We were wondering what to do, and suspected rat poison firstly. I googled it, but none of the symptoms were the same. We called the vet as soon as we could gwt a hold of her and straight away, she said 1080 poisoning. She said it was up to us what we do, but there isn't really any hope of saving an animal from it. We checked him again and he was having trouble breathing and he was shaking like a leaf all over and close to convulsing. We decided to shoot him then and there.
My husband had to do the deed and put him out of his misery.
I just feel so terrible about the whole thing. I know that if we figured it out when he was barking like mad for no reason, he still could not be saved from the 1080 poison. It works very quickly and it kills within around three hours. Apparently the symptoms may take 6 hours plus to show up, but when it starts showing, the dog just won't survive.
We don't put 1080 poison out on our property. We do bait on a property 20 kms away though. Some of the neighbours do occasionally put them out when the foxes and pigs are particularly bad, the vet said that a piece of bait can be dropped by a crow, or within a dead fox that's remains are disturbed. I have since found out that pig vomit can contain 1080, and if it is eaten by an animal, it can easily kill it too. And the poison can last a long time out in the weather too, it may be weaker, but it still kills.
I am just so sad that our beautiful 1 year old pup suffered this. I am glad we were all home to put him out of his misery once we knew what the problem was.
Ted was a lovely animal, he was very placid for a cattle dog and never aggressive. He would try to get as close to you as possible by sitting against the back door, or on your lap if you were sitting down. He could not get enough pats and would lie on the ground just gazing and wanting those belly rubs and scratches.
He was like a baby really. And he was growing up to be a great companion too. Just out of that annoying puppy stage where they chew every shoe in sight, he was good at letting me know when random people showed up to the house.
The boys are shattered, this is their first pet - so it's one of those learning curves of life on a farm. And I have always tried to not get too attached to farm animals as I know nothing lasts forever. But, he was really my dog. He thought I was his mother, he usually looked to me first.
I would not be so sad if he lived to 14 and died of old age, it has been quite a shock to see a healthy young pet die so suddenly. I think we will have to get another pup when we can from the same parents as he really was the best cattle dog I have ever had.
If you want to know more about 1080 poison baits here is a factsheet on first aid you can do if you see your dog or cat consume 1080 poison. http://www.gamecouncil.nsw.gov.au/docs/Advice-FirstAidforWorkingDogs.pdf
And here are some pics of my beautiful Ted
|How I remember him|
|When we brought him home|
|Lovely and calm Ted|
I promise I will post something a bit happier tomorrow.