A couple in Utah is absolutely heartbroken after losing their two dogs to poisoning. It's unclear whether the case was accidental or intentional. But by the time the owners recognized the poison symptoms, it was too late. And now, the grieving family is on a mission to make sure no other pets suffer the same fate.
Katrina and her husband loved their two fur-babies, Marley (9) and Autumn (1), who made them a happy family of four. But all of that changed one terrible Saturday night.
Marley began vomiting and defecating, and couldn't seem to stop. Autumn became wobbly -- stumbling around almost as if intoxicated. Soon, she was getting sick everywhere, too.
Katrina and her husband kept a close eye on the pups, hoping the sickness would soon subside. But as the dogs continued getting sick throughout the night, they realized it was something more serious.
"My husband and I had seen their sick symptoms start Saturday night, and we thought maybe it was just an upset stomach," Katrina recalled. "But it didn’t stop."
So, on Sunday, the couple rushed their beloved dogs to the emergency vet.
A Shocking Diagnosis
It's there they got the terrible news -- these were poison symptoms. Marley tested positive for ethylene glycol poisoning, a chemical typically found in antifreeze and brake fluid. While Autumn's test came back negative, the chemical only shows up in the blood for a short window of time. Autumn's kidney failure was more advanced, suggesting she'd also ingested the deadly chemical, just sooner.
"They had to have gotten a larger dose because it came on so quickly," the vet said.
It was a complete shock for Katrina and her husband. They have no idea where the dogs found the poison.
“We searched to see if there was anything in our yard -- anything in our driveway -- that they could have gotten into that would have caused it," Katrina said. “I keep a very close eye on my dogs when they are outside in our yard. They never go out of my sight.”
The police investigation turned up a snowmelt bag with antifreeze inside of it in the neighbor's yard. However, they were unable to determine whether or not that's how the dogs were poisoned.
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Sadly, it was too late for Marley and Autumn once diagnosed at the vet. Both dogs had to be put down.
“They put them on tables side by side, and they let us say all of our goodbyes, and talk with them for the last time," Katrina said.
It's a devastating moment the couple will never forget. Now, one of the hardest days of their lives has turned into a mission for the grief-stricken family.
"I don't want any animal to come across what our dogs came across," Katrina said.
Poison Signs In Dogs And Cats
The couple urges all pet owners to learn the signs of possible pet poisoning, in the hopes they'll be spared the same heartbreak. Catching the poison symptoms early is key. The couple's vet, Dr. Kristi Ellis, said that, if brought in within a half an hour to an hour of ingesting, there's a good chance of saving the pet.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, here are some signs to suggest your dog or cat may have ingested poison:
Coughing of blood
A racing heart rate
Weakness or lethargy
Halitosis (“uremic” breath)
Excessive thirst or urination
Absence or decreased urination
Jaundice/icterus/yellow discoloration to the gums
Weakness or collapse secondary to a low blood sugar
Dull mentation, acting abnormally
Black-tarry stool (melena)
Please be aware that this list is not a complete list of all poison symptoms. However, these are generally the most common signs. Should you suspect your pet's been poisoned, call your vet immediately.