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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This Thursday our 7 year-old French Poodle was found dead in the morning. :( Most members of my family suspect poisoning because of the complaints from several neighbors about our dog’s behavior (several families share the parking lot & frontal yards of the residences). But when my sister insisted in an autopsy, nothing relevant was found. No traces of antifreeze or some of the most common substances these miscreants use.

A total mystery. My sister is still mourning and doesn’t want to share, for the moment, the coroner’s written report. She says she will handle it to me after her grieving is over, but that there is nothing there except what the coroner already told us: no traces of poison.

Perhaps I am a little paranoid, but I wonder if there are some fatal poisons that don’t leave traces after some time. It seems that our pet died about midnight, long before we found the body. Although I’ve tried to get rid of this possibility, that he might have been poisoned, the counter thought that, after all, “he died a natural dead” does not reassure us. The mental worm is still piercing through our brains…

So I must ask: Is there an online vet who can tell if untraceable poisons to kill dogs exist? :confused:
 

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Sure, there would be things that could cause a poisoning without being picked up on just a regular screening.

I think if you truly suspect poison you should start with what the coroner thinks cause of death is (seizure, heart attack, etc?) and then explore possibilities. But it may be difficult to find out for sure.

Why did your neighbors have a problem with your dog?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A neighbor was mad because our “Corchete” killed one of his hamsters. He sometimes allows them free in his front yard if supervised, which has no fence (like our own).

If he used indeed one of those substances, the most drastic move that occurs to me is to make a specific blood test from what remains of Corchete… (but a specific test looking for what?).
 

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That would tear me up inside. I'd sure try to find out the cause of death. Your neighbors could have hit your dog in the head. Did the coroner ONLY check for poisoning?
 

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Ok, no sign of poisons, but even a 'natural' death has a cause, heart attack, respiratory arrest, kidney or liver failure, something! If it was me, I would contact whoever did the necropsy and ask more questions. Just me, but I would need to know.
 

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Done many necropsies on acutely deceased dogs and cats (those with no previous symptoms or apparent illnesses) and have to say nearly 50% of the time, I do NOT discover the cause of death. Sometimes we send the pet to the lab for a super thorough necropsy if the owner has the funds and need to know, but the cause of death is still only diagnosed about 60-75% of the time, even after a professional battery of tests, including toxicology, virology, bacteriology, histology and pathology (at a cost of usually about $1500). Doing a thorough necropsy can take a lot of time and effort, particularly if the brain is carefully looked at (not an easy organ to get to).

Trying to find a poison that killed a pet is extremely difficult. Some do not leave much of a trace, and the science behind discovering poisoning is not usually available to most veterinarians or even veterinary pathologists (not like in CSI TV shows). However, there are not that many commonly available poisons that would kill a dog without any clues. Ethylene glycol would be hard to determine without doing careful pathology of the kidneys, nor does it kill a pet overnight anyway (usually takes several full days, and the pet is very ill in the mean time). But it would be an easy diagnosis once all the pathology was in. Strychnine can kill quickly but there is usually evidence of seizure activity (thrashing about, foaming at the mouth, etc.). This would be a hard one to prove, though. Rat baits take many days to work. Most other severe toxins cause signs of liver of kidney damage. But dying of an underlying cardiac illness can often cause a symptomless rapid death and require a thorough investigation of the heart tissues (probably take days to figure that out, if not impossible).

However, I never heard of a 'dog coroner'. I assume you mean a veterinary pathologist?
 

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I just recently lost my 9 year old Shih Tzu x Maltese. I had her into the Vet last year to have her teeth done and the Vet said she had a slight heart murmur. She always seemed perfectly healthy, eating, running and playing and loved going on walks. I had to leave her at my niece's along with my 11 year old male when I went to an Agility trial, something I had done several times before. I left her there on Thursday night and Friday morning when my niece got up, Kiska was dead. So, sometimes there is something going on with them that do not show any signs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
However, I never heard of a 'dog coroner'. I assume you mean a veterinary pathologist?
Sorry. I live in a non-English speaking country and often I misuse the language. Of course it was a veterinary. I'm sure now my sister will share the pathologist's report with us. Will try to get it as soon as possible...
 

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A neighbor was mad because our “Corchete” killed one of his hamsters. He sometimes allows them free in his front yard if supervised, which has no fence (like our own).
That is unfortunate. People have the right to have their legal pets on their property, it was your duty to see to it that your pet did not harm his, especially since you knew he sometimes allowed them out front.
It would be no different if another neighbor, for example, had a large poodle hating dog, it would be his duty to make sure his dog did not come over on your property and attack and kill yours.
I am hoping you visited after his pet was killed with profuse apologies, and gifted him with beautiful things for his remaining hamsters.
Of course, retribution by poisoning is completely inappropriate, but there seems to be no proof that happened, I'm hoping it did not, it may have been a death of natural causes. I'm sorry for your loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Done many necropsies on acutely deceased dogs and cats (those with no previous symptoms or apparent illnesses) and have to say nearly 50% of the time, I do NOT discover the cause of death.
Today a maid that works with our “lovely” neighbors confessed to my sister that, before our Corchete died, she saw that one of them was grinding Paracetamol tablets, something that had not done before. I’m just curious: does Paracetamol leave traces in dog necropsies?

it was your duty to see to it that your pet did not harm his, especially since you knew he sometimes allowed them out front.
I didn’t speak to my neighbour right after the hamster died. What a blunder... (Mea culpa…)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
P.S.

Oops!

It now looks like the above-mentioned maid just told my sister what my sister wanted to hear. It is called lead questioning or something like that. The guy usually grinds his tablets because he cannot tolerate swallowing entire tablets. Nothing to do with planned poisoning.

Maybe it’s time to let it go. No investigation will give us Corchete back anyway.:(
 
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