Warning to dog owners after disturbing find in pet's stomach

The dog was being treated for suspected poisoning.

WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES: A Sydney vet has warned pet owners to remain vigilant after finding something "suspicious" inside a dog's stomach.

The animal was taken to Earlwood Animal Hospital after eating something strange at Bardwell Valley Golf Club in Sydney's south, with the vet treating the pup for "suspected poisoning".

"We don’t know what it is, it does look very suspicious," the vet posted on Facebook on last week. "The dog is being treated for suspected poisoning, just to cover all bases."

They warned pet owners to "please be careful while out with your dogs, keep them on a lead, and don’t let them eat anything."

Dog bait with green substance removed from animal's stomach.
A Sydney vet made this discovery inside a dog's stomach. Source: Facebook/Earlwood Animal Hospital

Suspected dog baiting in Sydney area

Disturbing images shared on social media show a pinkish-coloured sack filled with a bright green substance. Bardwell Valley Golf Club suggested it was a dog bait attempt.

In a post on Facebook, the club said there had been dog baits found at "a number of our local parks and golf courses" in the Bexley area.

"We ask that you take extreme care when walking your dogs," they said. "Our ground staff and golfers will be keeping an eye out for anything suspicious around our golf course and will report accordingly."

Golf course at Bardwell Valley Golf Club.
The dog ate something at the Bardwell Valley Golf Club, but other baiting incidents have popped up elsewhere in the area. Source: Google Images

Pet owners fear for safety of animals

Dog owners in the area were horrified by the disturbing find and feared for the safety of their pets.

"Horrible! Who would do such a thing seriously," one fumed. "Thank you for the warning. Some people are so cruel, let’s hope no dogs are lost because of their stupidity," another wrote.

The animal clinic confirmed in the comments they are unable to test the substance to establish if it's poison.

Some concluded the object looks like a "herbivore stomach", likely from a possum, but the vet said, "this is too big for a possum stomach" and said there have been a number of cases in the area "with dogs eating the same thing".

Baiting symptoms to watch out for

Dog baits usually come in different forms, but can either be a neurotoxin such as snail baits and 1080, or anticoagulants such as rat baits. These are often wrapped in food to hide the smell and taste of the poison.

Behavioural changes like anxiousness, restlessness and panting are usually the first symptoms of ingestion, which may progress to muscle twitches and tremors, and eventually seizures. However 1080, which is usually used to control agriculture and environmental pests, is highly toxic to dogs and causes a rapid onset of seizures.

Dog owners are urged to contact their nearest vet immediately if they suspect their pet has been poisoned, and not wait until they exhibit symptoms, the RSPCA says.

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