IMPORTANT UPDATE 28/1/13

Since this original warning regarding one dog, rumours have spread and been over-dramatised, people suggesting a large number of dogs have been affected.

In fact, we have been informed today by K9 Search UK that blood tests have now confirmed that the dog did NOT die from poisoning. Unfortunately, the dog died of an infection it could not fend off due to a low white blood cell count.

Below is a statement from the original poster:

“The vets had originally thought it was poison due to the sudden onset and death. Having several clients in that area it was my duty of care to inform people to the best of my knowledge. I have stayed in touch with the client who has very recently had blood test results back.
The dog in question had a low white blood cell count and therefore could not fight off infection. It has been confirmed that it is not a case of poison so I would like to update everyone on this and ask if you have posted the original message to please post this as there were so many people concerned that lived in the area.
The original post was intended to make everyone aware of a potential danger.
After being recently informed of the blood results and keeping in close contact and discussing the matter with Steven Hinton, the Park Ranger for Northfield and surrounding areas, it seems that my post was reposted but additional information was added, without my consent or knowledge and exaggerated, with recent reports of 5 dogs in critical care and 6 who have died. I can categorically state it is not true and is unfounded.
As stated previously, my original post was only to make people aware as it was my duty of care as it is again now that the blood test results have come back.
It was not to create mass hysteria nor scaremonger. Should you have any further queries or concerns, Steven has kindly offered for you to contact him directly on northfield_lickey.hub@birmingham.gov.uk This is not to ‘cover up’ or hide anything, rather to avoid misrepresentation of Cofton Park .
Thank you in advance for reposting this. Natalie Lenton”

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Two local animal welfare charities have issued a warning to dog owners after a dog died following a walk in Cofton Park.

K9 Search UK and Animal House Rescue posted the following to their Facebook pages:

WARNING – Cofton Park/Lickey area, Birmingham
We have received and confirmed a report of a dog becoming unwell and unfortunately dying. The vet has confirmed poisoning and that this poor dog wasn’t the first to suffer this fate.

A reader has since also posted on our Facebook page that they believe another dog walked in the park has suffered a similar fate, but this is unconfirmed.

It is thought that the problem may be due to poisoning from fungus spores, but the source of poisoning has not been confirmed.

Dog owners who walk their pets in Cofton Park or Lickey Hills are advised to continue and take some simple, sensible precautions:

  • Stick to open areas – avoided wooded areas as this is where any offending fungi will be
  • If you can, wipe down or bathe your pet after walking in woods to remove any spores
  • If your dog becomes ill with symptoms such as lethargy and vomiting, get them to a vet immediately. Tell the vet if they have been in woodland and that other dogs are known to have been affected by possible fungus poisoning in the area. This will help them decide on the best treatment.
Cofton Park
Image by Birmingham News Room on Flickr

1 COMMENT

  1. This happened to my dog three years ago after walking her in Cofton Park. The vet thought it might have been rat poison which caused her death.

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