Limerick vet's advice about 'high-risk' areas as dog dies after poison incident

Maria Flannery


Maria Flannery

Vet John O’Dwyer: 'Strychnine is totally illegal in Ireland'

Vet John O’Dwyer: 'Strychnine is totally illegal in Ireland'

ANOTHER dog has died in Limerick after ingesting poison, a phenomenon which has become more and more common in the area over the last number of years, according to a local vet.

There are some problem areas for poison in Limerick, particularly from UL to Clonlara, said Limerick city vet John O’Dwyer,  and dog owners should be aware and watch their pets when out walking.

The most recent known poisoning has taken place in Clarina.

Mr O’Dwyer said that he has dealt with a dozen of these cases in recent times, and it is usually too late to save the animal.

“The usual poisons that we see in the malicious poisonings are strychnine, which is totally illegal in Ireland. You can’t recognise it if you see it. If an animal ingests strychnine, they get convulsions and the convulsions kill them,” he said.

“If you’re walking your dog in one of the high-risk places, don’t have them off the lead, don’t let them eat anything,” he said.

If you think that your animal may have eaten something suspicious, Mr O’Dwyer said to “get to the vet immediately”.

“You might have some hope, but if you don’t get there immediately, it could be over in about 15 to 20 minutes, if it is strychnine,” he said.

Besides ‘malicious’ poisonings, farmers often lay poisons in meat to protect their sheep from foxes or rodents. 

“If people are going through any land where there are animals make sure the dog is on the lead,” added the vet.