Concerns raised by Cranbrook Veterinarians following fatally ill dogs

Dog owners are urged to avoid the Cranbrook Community Forest after multiple dogs have fallen ill

  • Dec. 12, 2017 12:15 p.m.

Steeples Veterinary Clinic and Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital have both shared disturbing posts in the last 24 hours warning Cranbrook’s residents to avoid walking their dogs in the Cranbrook Community Forest after multiple dogs have become suddenly and in some instances fatally ill following walks in the Forest.

“We are currently investigating but are unsure of the exact cause as of right now. Please exercise caution when in the area or avoid it all together for the time being,” read Steeples’ Facebook post, which at the time of writing has been shared over 1,900 times.

Symptoms reportedly include sudden collapse and seizures within four to six hours of visiting the area. These symptoms also occurred in two dogs, walked by the same owners in the Community Forest, that were brought in to Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital and have both died.

“The first dog had suspicious symptoms last Monday, and started seizuring and we ended up putting that dog to sleep,” said Dr. Jamie Levine, veterinarian at the Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital in a phone interview with the Townsman. “The second dog that this owner has died suddenly after major seizuring on Sunday night so he brought the dog into us Monday morning. It’s really horrible. It’s a horrible, painful, death. It’s really awful.”

Levine said that this instance is very suspicious, urges the public to use caution and be aware of this area, and says he believes it’s being investigated by local authorities.

What makes this all more suspicious and disturbing is that in October of 2016 Haley Walker-Opperman and Dave Opperman’s dog Nixon died after eating a white, fatty substance he unearthed in the Community Forest. Nixon also suffered convulsions and seizures.

READ MORE: Dog deaths blamed on chemical poison

At the time, Walker-Opperman stated that two other dogs had passed away after ingesting the same white substance, all in the Community Forest. They believed, based on the symptoms exhibited, that it contained sodium fluoroacetate, more commonly known as 1080, a rodenticide.

Both Veterinary pages have stated that they are looking into the matter and will update their posts once they have more information. The Cranbrook Townsman has contacted RCMP but as of publication have not been able to conduct an interview.

paul.rodgers@cranbrooktownsman.com