Seems to of been a bit of a feeding frenzy the last couple days about the Red Setter that has apparently been poisoned after competing at Crufts. Notice the words apparently and after, because they are important, as even one of the owners of the dog without knowing for sure if the dog has even been poisoned have said, "The dog was poisoned at Crufts." They are still waiting toxicology results, so how can you make such a statement ? This is what the owners vet has actually stated today "The vet, Patrick Jans, told the BBC he had "no idea" when the dog was poisoned and would not be making any comment until the toxicology report was published next week. He also said: "At this stage I don't know what the poison was, when the dog was poisoned or whether it was poisoned at all."
Now I was not going to say much about this because we have little to go on to form an informed opinion, but that has not stopped lots from forming an uninformed opinion. So here is my halfpennies worth.
Now for me timing seems slightly out for poisoning at Crufts, due to the fact that a dogs dietary tract takes from 4 to 10 hours to pass food right through it, but 26 hours after being at Crufts the dog in question has been found to have pieces of beef in its stomach with a substance on it. Either Crufts is a red herring or the beef pieces with the substance on are a red herring ?
Now we have other competitors from Crufts saying , "They think their dogs have been poisoned, because they have been ill since coming home from Crufts." Now with 20,000 dogs competing at Crufts would it not be within reason that some of those dogs going home might be unwell, just by the reasoning of chance, let alone after travelling long distances, being in a foreign stressful enviroment, mixing with dogs and people from around the world, so coming into contact with so many alien pathogens. I think it is within reason that a few of them might be a bit off colour when arriving home. I think we might be seeing a bit of old fashioned hysteria breaking out amongst the showing brigade. I may be proved wrong over the next few days, but let us wait and see.
Now I'm going to upset some by suggesting that, "Maybe the dog just died because of a medical condition, such as bloat, very common with setters." Does not sound so glamorous, but death rarely is. Just adding this bit about bloat after publishing. The vet may of noted bloat and maybe it was the cause of death ? Bloat can be a symptom of poisoning as well, as digestive problems. With 30 years of a showbreeder's reputation at stake, I suspect the vet is feeling under a little pressure.
I'm going to tell now, what happened to me yesterday. I milked yesterday morning and as I was getting the cows up out of their kennels I noticed one not looking so good, number 509. Now she came in the parlour at the end and Steve the farmer I milk for came in to check her over, as I had voiced my concerns to him. First thoughts always are E-coli, but nothing could be found in her milk and her temperature was very low, which indicates that the animal is going into shock. We penned her up and straight away she lied down. I had observed that she had not pooed when being got up and if you know cows, they always poo when they get up or just after. She was breaking wind but no poo and her near side over the flank felt a bit hard, so thinking she may have some kind of blockage. I left and came milking in the evening and on seeing Steve's wife, my first question was, "How's the cow ?" I found out that unfortunately about 10 minutes after me leaving they found her dead. The vet came out anyway, as other things for him to do and he thought some sort of blockage or a bleed out. Which is where the animal has a ruptured artery and is bleeding internally. I had noted her a bit dumpy to move on the Sunday, but she was very tame, so even though I thought her a bit sluggish, I put it down to her character more than her health as she came in the parlour and gave her normal amount of milk. I felt a bit guilty about not mentioning this on Sunday, but I feel the outcome would of been the same. I find sudden death, so profound for a moment it just makes me take check bringing everything into sharp focus, my heart beat, my breath, here today, gone tomorrow, but you cannot dwell to long, as is said, "Life is for the living." When my Dad died suddenly, it was when I was thirteen, it took me a couple days for my conscious brain to be able to compartmentalize it. I would sleep and wake thinking his death was a dream and yet again have to go through the process of understanding he was dead. Maybe I am daft about feeling upset about a cow dying, after all it's only a cow as many would say. Once when losing a pup (When upset, I don't blither like a baby, "I just go away with the fairies," as my husband puts it) before having children one of my sisters told me, "I would put such things like this into perspective, once I had children," My reply was along the lines of, "If it makes me a hard old cow like you, I'd rather not have children." I'm wandering again aren't I ?
Lets get back on track. Now you may wonder what the hell a cow dying has to do with a dog dying ? Well, the cow was one of their best cows, as so often is the case when you lose them like this and the cow was looking in perfect health but within 12 hours of coming in the parlour the night before seemingly well enough in herself was dead, it happens and it often does not mean any foul play has been to work. Working in farming you know the fine line their is between life and death. The farmer is not waving a pitchfork accusing foul play by any one. Often it's just bad luck, shit happens and in the case of the setter maybe their is an unwillingness to accept this as one of the theories to why the dog died, because of a fear that the jury (The public) will then turn on them and say, "Bad breeding." At the moment the show world is playing the victim, but there is only ever going to be one victim we can be sure of in all of this, whatever happened, and that is the dog.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me with Bumble and Blottie, waiting patiently to be unleashed, November 2018
Hello, I am Jane, you might of guessed, I love dogs. We are situated in the North Devon countryside, England, United Kingdom. Our home is occupied by my husband, David, our children, pack of dogs and me.