People living in Riva Ridge Mobile Home Park are being warned to be particularly vigilant about their pets when outside.
Recently there have been at least three dogs owned by park residents that have gotten sick, one of which eventually died, causing concerns pets are being exposed to some kind of poison.
Deb Blanchard recently posted a warning on the outdoor bulletin board at the entryway to the park which is located on Highway 97 just south of the Penticton Regional Airport advising people to be careful with their pets.
“My dog Gynn, who I’ve had since he was a puppy and just turned nine in July, started to get sick on a Saturday and I took him to the vet on Monday and he was dead by Thursday,” said Blanchard who has another dog Marley, who didn’t get sick at all. “They are both indoor dogs and never get out of the yard. It’s really hard, especially with something like that which just came out of the blue, without warning.
“The vet was trying to find something, a major infection, maybe cancer, something, anything, but they couldn’t.”
A few days later she was out walking Marley and ran into to her friend Sheri Maurer who lives not far away.
“I asked her (Blanchard) where her second dog was and she told me how her dog got sick and died,” recalled Maurer, whose dog Co-cheise (pronounced Cochise) was still at Lindsey Veterinary Hospital where Blanchard had taken Gynn. “Then I told another neighbour the story and their dog had the same thing.”
She later became suspicious when a resident of a nearby RV park found what appeared to be raw chicken in a field where they were walking their dog.
“So I don’t know what’s going on but we’re all really worried,” said Maurer.
Both women had high praise for the efforts of the doctors at the veterinary hospital.
“Dave (Dr. David Kopp) says we’re going to get through this,” said Maurer when she took Co-cheise in for treatment. “I mean I can’t lose my dog she’s the only thing I’ve got left. They were just so great, I call them my vet family.”
A technician at Lindsey described the matter as “dietary indiscretion” on the part of the dog and noting the stomach contents of the pets were not analyzed but poison could not be ruled out.
Both dog owners say rats and mice are common throughout the park and there is a concern pets may be coming in contact with rodents that have eaten that poison.
“Basically right now the whole idea is to warn people,” said Blanchard. “If it happens, don’t waste time, if I had got Gynn to the vet sooner this might not have happened.”
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