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ZoneManagement
Sep 25, 2005
Forgive me father for I have sinned

A close friend of mine is in a nightmare. She bought a house in April of 2012, and then her dogs started having problems. Well, dying. The vet is unsure of the cause, said it might be organophosphate poisoning, but isn't sure. The former owner did like ornamental plants and such, and there's a few in the backyard. The backyard is maybe 1/3 or 1/2 an acre, fenced in. She's sent pictures of mushrooms and such to some mycologists; they say none of the mushrooms could have done this.

There's a rule about going to the vet, but the vet is confused, as well. She lives in Metro Atlanta, in one of the nicerish areas, and is freaking out. Pets and people are no longer allowed in the backyard, as of a month ago. She doesn't think it could be anything inside; she no longer uses chemicals and has gone completely organic, so no Frontline or Advantage/etc.

They also have a cat; the cat used to be allowed outside, but now isn't. However, the cat has never had an adverse effect. Here's a copy of her letter - sorry, it's long, and I deleted some identifying stuff.

We are at a loss. We're researching what we can, but are very unsure of what to even look for, and the vet can't give us any more?



"We have a toddler (was two at the time; now three) and had four dogs upon moving into the home. From oldest to the youngest: Roxanne (Chihuahua, 6 lbs.), Jesse Girl (German shepherd, 70 lbs), Max a Million (terrier mix, 30 lbs), and my mother's pup, Oscar (chi- mix, 4 lbs.). The backyard didn't have a fence for about a week so we had our dogs on leashes at all times. Once the fence went up we allowed our animals to roam. They were primarily inside pets, so they were rarely unsupervised. However, there were times during the day that we left them in the backyard, especially while we were trying to move in (I was attending school at the time also).

Our first situation occurred on May 1, 2012 around 9:30-10:00 am. Our terrier dog, Max, started showing odd symptoms. We noticed he was having muscle spasms; it was in his body area. It was as if someone were shocking him with one of those electric rods you hear about. We weren't sure what was going on with him and thinking that he ate something he shouldn't have, we took him outside, in case he threw up. That's when the seizures started. During the seizures his back arched as if the seizure would make him break his own back. His pupils would constrict during the seizure and as he came out of it they would get normal. He was salivating and foaming at the mouth. I noticed vomit in the grass and there was bile in our sunroom (which we were told to just get rid of). He was rushed to the closest Vet to us. While my husband was gone at the Vet, my mother's pup, Oscar, who weighs 4 lbs., started seizing also. Oscar was also foaming at the mouth and his seizure was making him flop like a fish out of water. It was terrifying. Oscar was rushed to the Vet as well. Max wasn't responding to treatment & we were told we needed to put him down because he was experiencing convulsions through all of the anti-seizure medications. Oscar survived though. We were stunned and confused. The Vet told us that these things happen sometimes and since we had just moved into a new house that it was probably a one time occurance.

We watched our animals like a hawk for about two weeks. My husband told me that I should just accept what the Vet said. So, against my better judgment, we started letting the pups out again.

The next situation occurred on May 31, 2012 around noon. Our German shepherd, Jesse Girl, who weighed 70lbs., started showing the exact same symptoms, plus more. It seemed like she was hallucinating at first. She was watching my table cloth (very "loud" with lots of colors for the Fourth of July) and would get close to it than jump back almost as if something jumped out at her. Tremors started in her head first, then she started having the muscle spasms. We recognized the "Max Symptoms" (as we've dubbed them) so we rushed her to the Vet. We asked them to do blood work, a fecal test, and urine test. They gave her medication to control the convulsions/seizures and I.V. fluids. Nothing showed up in her blood work, although her HGB & HCT were increased, her MCHC was decreased, Segs Neutrophil & Monocytes were decreased, and her Lymphocytes were increased. The Vet told us that those increases and decreases didn't really point at anything. When they took her outside to collect a urine sample she started “twitching” and they were afraid she was going to have another seizure. So, we weren't able to get that. We left her there all afternoon for observation. When she came home she still seemed a bit "twitchy" and she had diarrhea really bad for about a week. I basically babied her and kept forcing fluids down her.

We started searching everything in the backyard. There were no dig marks and nothing was chewed on. I didn't find vomit in this case either. For two days and nights we did research on plants and poisons. We contacted the previous owners and they told us they had left rat poison in the crawl space. So, my husband went down there and found it all. We disposed of every bit of it and fenced the bottom of our deck. We thought perhaps a yard critter had some how gotten into the crawl space (because the house was left sitting for a year) and perhaps dropped bait down the condensation drain. We were continuously told that it was difficult to pinpoint what our fur-babies were getting into. So, we waited and watched again.

The next situation occurred on June 14, 2012 around 4:00 pm. We had taken in a foster pup & I finally found him a good home. He was scheduled to leave in just a couple days. All of the dogs were outside with access to our sun room where they had fresh water and fresh food. I was making dinner (which has a window to see the backyard) and my husband decided to cut some grass with our son. That's when he found Buddy. Buddy was having seizures and they were nonstop. He was foaming and drooling at the mouth and bile was coming out of the other end. The first Vet gave us Valium to carry home when Oscar had the emergency, so we tried to control the seizures by using that. I called the emergency Vet and it was determined there was nothing we could do for him, so we had to put him down. I asked the emergency Vet if there was any testing that could be done on the pup so that we could determine what these dogs are getting into. She suggested a necropsy, but said it would cost no less then $500. After having all of these issues that just wasn't something we could afford. So, we buried him next to our Max a Million.

An entire year and a half passed by. We hadn't had any more issues and we thought that perhaps the source was the rat poison we had found and that Buddy had some how found the last of it. Jesse Girl was active, but very lonely. So, we bit the bullet and got another terrier mix, in honor of Max. Our son named him Sammy and. We were out in the yard all fall doing a lot of clearing and the pups would just run and run. It is a huge backyard and ants have been taking over the trees so we were cutting, burning, and clearing out debris.

December 7, 2013. It had been raining for about four days and was still very damp outside. That morning Jesse let me know she had to potty so I put them all out in the backyard, which wasn’t unusual by this time. I observed the dogs playing outside (nothing unusual). I went upstairs to change my son’s clothes and peeped out his window at them again; I've been so cautious [to the point where my husband and friends have told me I need to relax a little] because it always stayed in the back of my mind that we never found out for sure what our dogs had gotten into. Jesse and Sammy were in the back of the yard, on the left hand side, against the fence (opposite side of the yard where all the other situations occurred). My son and I finished getting ready upstairs (about 30 minutes) and walked downstairs. I heard Sammy whining, so I took a peek outside; our nightmare was beginning all over again.

Jesse was in the grass close to our deck when I checked on them from downstairs. She was drooling excessively; it looked like it was thick drool because it went from her mouth almost all the way to the grass and it looked like grass was in the drool. Upon observation she started having head spasms and I knew immediately that I didn’t have a lot of time. I called my husband to come home immediately. All I had to say was “Max symptoms” and he didn’t even say bye. He just hung up and tried to get home as quick as he could. Jesse went from a sitting position to a sawhorse position, fell over on her side, and started seizing. German Shepherds tend to be a "bite out of fear" type of dog and since it was just me and my three year old I didn't feel like I could put her in the car with my son. So, I literally just watched her from my window and cried. I pulled the other two dogs in and checked them over; they weren't showing any Max symptoms. About ten to twenty minutes passed before my husband was able to get home. When he got home she was in a seizure state without any time passing between seizures similar to Buddy. Her pupils were contracted. We put a blanket over the top part of her body to try to get her to calm down. My husband tried to keep her cool (because seizures can make a dog’s temper rise very quickly), but she just wouldn’t stop seizing. We just didn’t believe this was happening all over again. We called the emergency vet again; again we were told that we could try to bring her in for fluids and medications to try to control the tremors/spasms/seizures, but based on what we were telling them they felt like she was too far gone. So, once again, we had to make the choice to put our fur-baby down.

I cannot begin to explain the emotions that we have experienced. I have done nothing but research and search for the source of this since December 7th. Once again, no vomit; no dig marks anywhere; nothing chewed on; just nothing. It's maddening. We had a necropsy done by the emergency clinic Vet (because it was a weekend) and she said she didn't find anything physically wrong with her and there wasn't anything but dog food in her stomach. We requested a toxin report. When the toxin report came in my regular Vet explained to me (over the phone) that the pathologist couldn't do it because Jesse's samples were put in formaldehyde. The Veterinarian that performed the necropsy literally corrupted Jesse’s samples losing all chances of finding (or ruling out) whatever toxin has been the cause of all this death. It has literally been driving me insane.

No fur-baby or human (except me and my husband) have been allowed in our backyard; it's completely quarantined. I have called everyone down here that I can think of: the extension office, the poison control, animal control, the police department, the local humane society, four different Vets (that messed up every chance we had to test for toxins), six different mycologists, exterminators, and nobody can/will help me.

So, I have a pretty good idea of how you will respond to this because everyone [and I do mean everyone] says the same things. “I’ve never heard of that; that sounds like a chemical; are you sure nobody is poisoning your animals?” I’ve never seen anything like it in my life and I was raised on a farm in Alabama; I know it sounds some type of chemical, but I have yet to find one; and, there is so my debris around my yard that someone would have to have a substantial amount of hate for us to try to poison our dogs. I have walked my backyard too many times to count. I have spent countless hours researching what can do this to a dog. I’m coming to a point where I am going to have no choice but to wait and watch for it to happen again.

My question is: have you ever heard of any kind of plants that can do this to dogs, other than a Nux Vomica tree? The previous owner was a plant enthusiast and I honestly cannot tell you what all the plants in my yard are. She tied different types of small trees together and I always find little planter signs (for flowers and herbs) all in the yard. Of course, you can’t read what they say because they have been there for so long. We have also been finding water hose all underneath the ground of the front and backyard. My husband said it was some type of homemade irrigation system, but it isn’t like my dogs have had access to chew on it.


Thanks everyone. My friend's really upset.

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cryingscarf
Feb 4, 2007

~*FaBuLoUs*~


Ugh, I have no ideas as to what it could be. I wish I could help That is my biggest nightmare right there.

Please keep us updated though if they ever DO figure out what it is.

Crooked Booty
Apr 2, 2009
arrr

I don't suppose there is/was a compost pile in the yard?

This is really horrible, and I can't imagine what your friend is going through.

Fluffy Bunnies
Jan 9, 2009

Half Dog.

Half Horse.

All Awesome.

Soil sample? Maybe something's leeched into the dirt and the dogs are licking it off their paws.

E: I'm concerned about the hose you're finding everywhere. Have that tested for fertilizers, poisons and a variety of other things. I can't think of any reason a gardener would lay irrigation line unless your yard is literally an acre plus. Soaker hose, yes, but it takes 10 minutes go out and water your plants even if you have a load of them in the yard. And you generally don't bury soaker hose as far as I know. And you don't just leave it out there. Any mention of a sprinkler system?

Fluffy Bunnies fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2014 around 23:34

SuperTwo
Oct 30, 2010



Has your friend tried taking pictures of the plants in the yard and sending them to someone more familiar with exotic plants? A botanist or another hobbyist?

hhgtrillian
Jan 23, 2004

DOGS IN SPACE

I second a soil sample and getting someone extremely knowledgeable about plants come out and look around. Do they have any kind of water feature or anything on the property? Maybe Blue-green algae/Cyanobacteria poisoning from that? Is there any cocoa mulch or anything like that? This is horrible. I hope they get something figured out.

ZoneManagement
Sep 25, 2005
Forgive me father for I have sinned

She's taken some pictures and sent them out, but there's quite a bit of them, and she hasn't got them all. There's a compost heap, but it's one of those one's with the screw on lid. Plus, it happened before they actually put the compost heap in after the first of the deaths. So maybe...but unlikely?

I'll ask about a soil sample. She's trying to figure out if there maybe was a whole poison applied to the yard and it's still sitting in the soil. I don't know how many poisons would last that long, though.

Fluffy Bunnies
Jan 9, 2009

Half Dog.

Half Horse.

All Awesome.

ZoneManagement posted:

She's taken some pictures and sent them out, but there's quite a bit of them, and she hasn't got them all. There's a compost heap, but it's one of those one's with the screw on lid. Plus, it happened before they actually put the compost heap in after the first of the deaths. So maybe...but unlikely?

I'll ask about a soil sample. She's trying to figure out if there maybe was a whole poison applied to the yard and it's still sitting in the soil. I don't know how many poisons would last that long, though.

Plenty. Especially in gardening. When you want poo poo dead, there is some powerful stuff out there that will kill just about anything. Including pets.

Instant Jellyfish
Jul 3, 2007

Actually not a fish.


Does she know the history of the house? My property had a meth lab burn down on it years before I bought it and if all the neighbors hadn't told me repeatedly about the meth story I wouldn't have known to get samples taken to make sure it didn't have any residual weird meth chemicals soaked into the soil.

cryingscarf
Feb 4, 2007

~*FaBuLoUs*~


Could there be something in that irrigation system that could be causing problems? Maybe lead?

"Owners should be sure to call a vet promptly if they observe symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain. A dog might also show anxiety, muscle tremors, weakness, lack of coordination or aggressive behavior.

Some pets experience seizures, blindness, deafness or mental dullness. Behavioral changes might be apparent. Increased thirst and urination, shortness of breath and not tolerating exercise are common."

AngryRobotsInc
Aug 2, 2011



The symptoms sound very similar to insecticide poisoining, which is the first thing that came to mind with the mention of all the planting and yard care.

Siochain
May 24, 2005

"can they get rid of any humans who are fans of shitheads like Kanye West, 50 Cent, or any other piece of crap "artist" who thinks they're all that?

And also get rid of anyone who has posted retarded shit on the internet."


AngryRobotsInc posted:

The symptoms sound very similar to insecticide poisoining, which is the first thing that came to mind with the mention of all the planting and yard care.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking as well.

Are there any wet spots/low lying spots that are always "wet"? Or when it rains, are there any ephemeral creeks that run through? There may be contamination that's coming up with groundwater when its wet out, and the dogs are drinking/stepping in it and licking it off/etc. Nictoine as a pesticide (fallen out of favor, but it was common) could potentially cause the symptoms.

Really hope your friends can figure this out Scary stuff.

ZoneManagement
Sep 25, 2005
Forgive me father for I have sinned

She says whatever it was is very quick acting. She had a lady come out to look, and the lady said the yard was too big for soil samples - they were 50 dollars a piece.

ZoneManagement
Sep 25, 2005
Forgive me father for I have sinned

Odd, she just mentioned her son had a seizure around the time they moved in.

Spaceman Future!
Feb 9, 2007

slurp


Get the soil tested. I mean, I'm not sure exactly who you would contact about that, but it sounds to me like the previous owner may have gone nuts with the fertilizer. Probably in a few spots more than others, which is why the incidents are so spread out. Maybe there was a big patch of grass or something that kept dying and the previous owner went hog wild with ammonium nitrate. Ingesting, at least in humans would have the following symptoms:

quote:

Short-term exposure to ammonium nitrate can cause symptoms ranging from minor irritation to nausea, vomiting, gastric irritation, headaches, dizziness and hypertension

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_nitrate

Dogs will occasionally chow down on some grass if their stomach is upset or if they are stressed, its possible that there is residual fertilizer on the grass or more likely in the soil and it leeches up a bit when it rains.

That could be completely off but it really sounds like they want to get the dirt tested either way, they should take samples ever 20 feet or so so that if its locational there's a chance they will hit whatever spot is poisoning the dogs.

Fluffy Bunnies
Jan 9, 2009

Half Dog.

Half Horse.

All Awesome.

ZoneManagement posted:

She says whatever it was is very quick acting. She had a lady come out to look, and the lady said the yard was too big for soil samples - they were 50 dollars a piece.

You'd think $50 each would be worth it with everyone having goddamn seizures everywhere and the back yard being a zone of death. Call a different place or something.

Spaceman Future!
Feb 9, 2007

slurp


ZoneManagement posted:

She says whatever it was is very quick acting. She had a lady come out to look, and the lady said the yard was too big for soil samples - they were 50 dollars a piece.

ZoneManagement posted:

Odd, she just mentioned her son had a seizure around the time they moved in.


You should probably let her know that anything that is potent enough to give a human seizures and seems to be coming from the ground is worth a couple thousand in testing. I mean, if there is like an extreme lead concentration or something out there she could be destroying her child's mental development. And if its enough to give a 70 pound dog seizures what is her plan when it happens to her? Try not to hit your head on the counter on the way down, I didn't need that tongue anyway?

ZoneManagement
Sep 25, 2005
Forgive me father for I have sinned

Pretty much what I just did.

Abutiu
Oct 21, 2013


I hope she does it. I've had soil testing done in a pasture that was about 3 acres. Like others said, you test it at intervals and then decide from there if you need to test more. Even if it is expensive, it's probably going to be on par with another vet bill. If the soil testing lady blows her off again, she should insist. It's her money to "waste" if she wants to (I do not think it is a waste).

I couldn't really tell from the post, but can she pinpoint if there was specific part of the yard they tended to be in before showing symptoms? She won't want to focus on that exclusively (just in case they moved there), but if all the dogs were in the same part of the yard, it might help work out a plan to maximize whatever testing she can afford.

She could try contacting veterinary schools to see if they'd be willing to review her yard for poisonous plants (by photograph or whatever). When I used to live near a veterinary school and took my pets there, one of the students was one time talking about doing that for a client as part of their studies. It's obviously a huge longshot, but it can't hurt at this point.

I wonder if maybe talking to her pediatrician might help as well. Kids sometimes do have random seizures apparently, but the timing is pretty coincidental. If she talks to the doctor about her concerns in light of the repeated seizures in healthy dogs, they might have some ideas for environmental testing or something along those lines.

Shnooks
Mar 24, 2007

I'm being born!


Dunno if it's relevant, but are/were your dogs all up to date on their vaccines?

four lean hounds
Feb 16, 2012


How horrible. I would be looking for a new house ASAP if this kept happening. That, or purge my yard with cleansing fire.

I very much hope that she finds the source of all this. It sounds like something the dogs are just touching/rubbing if they aren't barfing up bits of plant matter. Much sympathy to her family during their awful experience.

an expert
Jul 18, 2011



Nthing "Get the soil tested, yesterday". Hopefully she has also contacted her neighbors, her local home owner's association if there is one, and the EPA. If anyone else around her has been having this problem, one of them ought to know about it. Doing all of that is also a good way to get records of expenses, dates, things like that, in case she winds up in a position where she wants to pursue legal action against the previous homeowner or the real-estate agent.

I would also advise thoroughly photographing, double bagging, and carting all "we dunno what it is" plants and those hoses, off to a dump. Preferably while wearing good, protective clothing and having a really thorough shower after. If it is a plant, this will solve it. If it is the soil, this won't solve it, but again, documentation.

This is really tragic and while I want to ask you to keep us updated, I genuinely hope there is nothing more to update on.

Topoisomerase
Apr 12, 2007

CULTURE OF VICIOUSNESS


Is there any concern for snails in the area or any reason that people would want to put out snail bait? These would all be very classic for metaldehyde toxicosis.

Also burying in the loving ground animals that died due to toxins (and there is no way on the loving earth that this is anything other than a toxin) is probably not the best idea that your friends had. Jesus.

The necropsy (and special tissue handling/sending off to a good toxicology lab) would really have been the only way to know for sure unless they absolutely find a specific toxin themselves.

Topoisomerase fucked around with this message at Jan 10, 2014 around 02:48

cheese eats mouse
Jul 6, 2007


First this really sucks and is a horrible nightmare so condolences to your friend, but this is some Erin Brokovich level poo poo. Also screw the previous owners for not disclosing what they used in the backyard.

She also won't be able to sell the house if potential buyers find out the backyard is poisonous. Get a soil test like yesterday because it's going to cost her less than the several hundred thousand dollar mortgage.

Also how the gently caress do you see most of your pets die, your kid have seizures, and make your backyard a quarantine zone and not think maybe I should get my loving soil tested? Like who thinks "It's too expensive" after several emergency vet trips that it's not worth the money? It's at least worth the peace of mind AND rules out another factor.

cheese eats mouse fucked around with this message at Jan 10, 2014 around 03:15

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

I will put a pigeon on this gun. The bird is an accessory.

I can't figure this out. Any poison in the yard would have diluted after six months, especially with regular rain.

Can you tell us what state your friend lives in, (edit: Missed that, Metro Atlanta. Hmm.) and the history of the house? When was it built, what is the area like geographically, is there a high water table, and any heavy industry in the area? (400ft down, and not really any more) A yard that can kill a 70 pound german shepherd is definitely capable of killing a child. Your friend might be sitting on a hazardous waste dump.

GET THE SOIL TESTED.

Do you have a local news station? Have your friend forward the letter to them. They always have the 'On Your Side' junior reporter doing human interest stories. They sometimes have a bit of clout with the local branches of the EPA. 11Alive Atlanta has the Help Desk, which does human interest and community focus stories. If your friend has problems getting someone to listen, contact http://www.11alive.com/life/community/help/contact.aspx .

edit: Can we page Dr. Khelmar to the thread? I mean, why do we even HAVE a moderator pathologist if not for mysteries?

editedit: Thank you good doctor

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at Jan 10, 2014 around 06:15

Khelmar
Oct 12, 2003

Things fix me.

Talk to the folks at University of Georgia about necropsy and toxicology testing. A month post-mortem interval is bad, but not the worst I've ever dealt with. Really, this is the point a pathologist should be doing a post-mortem exam to figure out what's wrong.

Veterinary toxicologists are very knowledgable about plants, and can generally walk an area and identify toxic plants. They do it frequently in pastures for horses, for example.

Muscle tremors sound like electrolyte problems (calcium, potassium, etc.), but seizures could be a lot of things. Any sago palm trees around? Cycasin could take out the liver, which would cause seizures. Any stagnant water with algae?

Poldarn
Feb 18, 2011



This sounds almost like the symptoms of mould poisoning which could be from the house and not the yard. Some people are more sensitive than others, perhaps the dog was very very sensitive or allergic?

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

If the animals are buried on the property, any chance of getting some kind of sample from their bodies for testing? I mean, it's gruesome to dig them up, but if they have to be removed anyway (and I certainly would remove them), it might be worth a shot.

I know with our chickens we have to be really careful about warm & wet conditions triggering a mold/algae bloom, which can lead to botulism and other nasty things. I know you mentioned the time in December had been rainy, how about the other times?

You mentioned debri in the adjacent yards, which can hold standing water = mosquitoes--any chance someone had been spraying for mosquitos? Has your friend talked to her neighbors to both sides and behind her, to see if they had experienced anything similar or had sprayed anything?

Fluffy Bunnies
Jan 9, 2009

Half Dog.

Half Horse.

All Awesome.

Khelmar posted:

Any sago palm trees around? Cycasin could take out the liver, which would cause seizures.

OP, I know it's wikipedia, but it has pictures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sago_Palm

Khelmar might be dead on. A couple of years back walmart was selling these goddamned things without a single warning on them. When we moved to Okinawa they didn't give a poo poo about your animals (or your kids, really). But the sago palms are literally so bad that there was an entire page devoted to "these will gently caress you up and everything you love if you eat anything off them" in the welcome guide. Nothing else, not even the local language or the venomous snakes, got a whole page to itself. They are awful little plants if it's not an adult-only house... so of course everyone and their cousin had one in their front yard planted by military landscaping.

My point being, they're not a common plant and, while in Okinawa where they're native the vets think of that, it's entirely possible a vet in Georgia might not even think of them existing.

My money is still on a toxic soil something or other, but it won't hurt your friend to go check for tiny lovely sago palms anyway.

wtftastic
Jul 24, 2006

"In private, we will be mercifully free from the opinions of imbeciles and fools."

Khelmar posted:

Talk to the folks at University of Georgia about necropsy and toxicology testing. A month post-mortem interval is bad, but not the worst I've ever dealt with. Really, this is the point a pathologist should be doing a post-mortem exam to figure out what's wrong.

Veterinary toxicologists are very knowledgable about plants, and can generally walk an area and identify toxic plants. They do it frequently in pastures for horses, for example.

Muscle tremors sound like electrolyte problems (calcium, potassium, etc.), but seizures could be a lot of things. Any sago palm trees around? Cycasin could take out the liver, which would cause seizures. Any stagnant water with algae?

If they did a necropsy and the liver appeared normal, then would that rule out sago palms?

pants cat
Mar 15, 2005


Oh god what a horribly sad situation.

If there are loads of plants there that she doesn't know the names of why the hell hasn't she ripped them all out by now? It sounds like no plants were actually eaten, but still..
Time to whip out the wallet and get as many tests as possible. This is why it's a good idea to keep an emergency credit card locked away specifically for pet emergencies if you don't have the ready cash to deal with it.

I hope your friend gets to the bottom of it, and I hope she doesn't get any more dogs in the meantime.

a life less
Jul 12, 2009

We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.


I would rip every single shred of greenery out of that yard and test as much as possible. Or move. What a terrifying situation.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

I would also find some gardening forums and post pictures of the plants to see if more knowledgable people can ID them. If the property is overgrown I'd check out the weeds as well as the trees & shrubs.

I'm wondering if one of the plants that was trimmed had some kind of noxious sap that was licked up...like animals lick up antifreeze because it tastes good? If the only thing in the stomach was dog food (not grass/plants seeds, etc.) then I'd be looking at fluids--water, mainly. I'd also make sure that the dog food in the stomach contents matched MY dog food.

Lead poisoning is pretty common, I'd test for lead...

Also, try and find out the history of the land--what was there before the house? Possibly some nasty chemicals have leached into the groundwater...

Velvet Sparrow fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2014 around 01:04

AvianPundit
Feb 14, 2013

Lollercide

I'm trying to bite back on my judgment and frustration that they haven't gotten the soil tested because it's "not worth it".

That would absolutely be the next step. It should have happened long ago. They should have the whack-a-doodle irrigation system ripped up and tested.

They need to test the soil after a rainfall.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

I will put a pigeon on this gun. The bird is an accessory.

AvianPundit posted:

I'm trying to bite back on my judgment and frustration that they haven't gotten the soil tested because it's "not worth it".


Not worth it? YOU HAVE FOUR DEAD DOGS AND A SEIZING CHILD. At what point does it become worth it?

AvianPundit
Feb 14, 2013

Lollercide

Suspect Bucket posted:

Not worth it? YOU HAVE FOUR DEAD DOGS AND A SEIZING CHILD. At what point does it become worth it?

My thoughts exactly. That's why they were put it in quotes. I cannot believe they didn't pay the $500 to get the necropsy done the first time it was offered... After a child and like three dogs seized in that yard, they couldn't cough up the $500 to get to the bottom of it? Unbelievable.

AvianPundit fucked around with this message at Jan 12, 2014 around 15:37

ZoneManagement
Sep 25, 2005
Forgive me father for I have sinned

She's probably going to, she's determined to figure it out. The first professional did say that it was unlikely to be the soil, but everyone here is so adamant on it I'm going to lean harder on her.

Scathach
Apr 4, 2011

You know that thing where you sleep on your arm funny and when you wake up it's all numb? Yeah that's my whole world right now.

Get the soil tested... and is it possible to get the grass tested? Seems like a really good idea to have anything possible tested. Has she talked to the other people in the neighborhood to see if anything similar is happening to them?

Is there any chance that someone is deliberately poisoning the dogs? I mean, seems unlikely but who knows. The kid's seizure could be totally unrelated.

Siochain
May 24, 2005

"can they get rid of any humans who are fans of shitheads like Kanye West, 50 Cent, or any other piece of crap "artist" who thinks they're all that?

And also get rid of anyone who has posted retarded shit on the internet."


ZoneManagement posted:

She's probably going to, she's determined to figure it out. The first professional did say that it was unlikely to be the soil, but everyone here is so adamant on it I'm going to lean harder on her.

Make ~sure~ samples are taken after a rain. There's still a solid chance that it could be related to localized groundwater contamination, or something that "comes up" when it rains, so make sure that's taken into account (any decent environmental sampling company should pick that up, but just in case).

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Fluffy Bunnies
Jan 9, 2009

Half Dog.

Half Horse.

All Awesome.

Scathach posted:

Get the soil tested... and is it possible to get the grass tested? Seems like a really good idea to have anything possible tested. Has she talked to the other people in the neighborhood to see if anything similar is happening to them?

Is there any chance that someone is deliberately poisoning the dogs? I mean, seems unlikely but who knows. The kid's seizure could be totally unrelated.

Four dogs in one yard over that long of a period of time would be one hell of a streak for a dog poisoner but like you said, it is a possibility that should be eyeballed.

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