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Truckee Vet Warns Dog Owners Of Unknown Toxin That Poisoned 5 Dogs, Killing 3

TRUCKEE (CBS13) – Raider, a 3-year-old dog of the Vizsla breed, is enjoying his Truckee backyard once again after a mysterious health scare.

His owner Lyndy Welk said when Raider returned from playing near the woods on July 13, there was something terribly off with the dog.

"He came up to me and he threw up and then he started kind of staggering. I knew something was wrong," Welk said.

Welk told CBS13 she called the Donner Truckee Veterinary Hospital as quickly as she could. The hospital told her that he was likely poisoned and she should get Raider to them right away

Welk said she got there in about five minutes and the vets began to try to save their family dog.

"So they had to put a tube in and they were artificially breathing for him for about four hours," she said.

Dr. Indian Vannini told CBS13 there have been five cases like Raiders in recent weeks – saying the dogs had some kind of toxin.

"So what we are seeing is an acute presentation of drooling, muscle tremors – often mistaken by owners for seizures – then an acute respiratory failure that can happen 10 to 45 minutes after that," Vannini said.

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We asked Vannini what kind of poison the dogs may have eating in areas like backyards or other wooded areas nearby, but it is still unknown at this time. She said there's a possibility it could be mushrooms or something else.

"There are possibilities of an algae bloom in some of the stagnant water. The last possibility is still hemlock," Vannini said.

So far, three of the dogs died and two were able to be saved, including Raider.

CBS13 is learning from Vannini that her hospital has seen these cases occur in the Martis Valley area in locations like Armstrong Tract, Martis Camp and Lahontan.

She also said that stomach content samples are being sent to UC Davis to find what exactly is poisoning these four-legged friends.

"The one thing that the dogs all have in common is there is dirt. They have been eating dirt, all of them," Vannini said. "But they could've been eating a mushroom from the dirt. They could've had their stomach upset immediately after eating algae that had some dirt. So, it's hard to say how the dirt plays a role quite yet."

Vannini said if you see these symptoms in your dog, run to the closest vet and get treatment immediately.

It's a scary situation making some owners keep a closer eye of where their good boy or girl is going.

"My dogs typically don't eat stuff, so it was just kind of this fluke thing. So we're definitely going to be more vigilant for sure," Welk said.

Welk said she cleared out their backyard of any mushrooms, but they didn't fit the bill for anything poisonous.

Vannini said the stomach content samples' results could take seven to 10 days to process.

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