The Main Stream

Mar 16, 2013 2:00 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Dog dies of strychnine poison after finding dead javelina

TUCSON - A local family is grieving over the loss of their dog from apparent strychnine poisoning.

Their Doberman, Makenzie, collapsed yesterday, after she found a dead javelina in the Canada Del Oro Wash in Oro Valley. The vet later had to put her down.

Strychnine is a common ingredient in rat poison. If a person is exposed, it only takes a small amount about 15 minutes to cause a severe and potentially fatal reaction, according to the Centers for Disease Control website.

Kelsey Baines gave Makenzie to her father after she moved out about 5 years ago.

"She was a young dog, and that's what made it so hard," Baines said. "She had a long life still ahead of her, so we were just hoping that it was going to be something medical, that we would be able to cure of that day and bring her back home."

She said the vet told the family it was strychnine poisoning, and they had recently seen other cases.

The veterinarian's office would not comment on the case because they said there is an ongoing investigation.

Javelina can get in to rat poison, which could have transferred to the dog, according to Mike Duffey with the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona.

"I don't want to see other people losing their family member due to this," Baines said. "Because it was something that happened so fast, there was nothing we could do about it."

Arizona law requires people to remove poisons after pests are eliminated, according to Duffey.

Duffey also wanted to remind dog owners to keep their animals on a leash, because it is sometimes for the pets' safety.

Spokespeople for Arizona Game and Fish, Pima County Sheriff's and Oro Valley Police Departments were not aware of any criminal investigations.

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