A heartbroken dog owner is urging residents to be vigilant after her pet died following a walk along the Cuckoo Trail.
Jane Silk-Satterley, of Harebeating Drive, Hailsham, had taken her 10-year-old Collie Cross Lurcher Charlie out for a wander along the popular countryside spot near her home but days later the animal’s condition deteriorated dramatically and he died.
The retired office worker, who took rescue dog Charlie for a walk with her Beddlington Terrier Cross Molly, said she had gone out with the pair on Saturday January 5.
She said, “He was absolutely fine but then I got up on the Sunday morning and he didn’t want to go out. I thought maybe he had a stomach upset.
“On the Monday morning there was blood all over the kitchen floor, he was in an awful state. I saw a locum vet and by the Tuesday night he was in a really bad way..
“I saw the regular vets and he was examined and they said because it had been so quick [the deterioration] it could be that he’s picked up poison.
“He didn’t deserve to die like that.”
Mrs Silk-Satterley said she had given Charlie anti-biotics after the locum vets thought he may have a gastro infection but by the Tuesday he was jaundiced and given steroids. That evening she rushed him to the vets where he stayed overnight and died the next day.
She said since the incident a friend whose garden backs on to the area where she believes Charlie could have picked up poison had found three or four dead foxes in his garden.
Mrs Silk Satterley, who has since got another dog to keep Molly company, added, No-one knows for sure it’s poisons but I’ve said to be people to be careful.
“The vets said there was a distinct possibility [it could be poison].
“I’ve spoken to people about it and I’ve called the police as well.
“The dogs were off the lead at the time but Molly doesn’t go into the bushes like Charlie did.
“I haven’t taken the dogs to that part of the Cuckoo Trail but further up where there is no houses.”
The Cuckoo Trail stretches from Heathfield to Eastbourne Park and passes through Horam, Hailsham and Polegate.
A wildlife rescuer also urged pet owners to be vigilant and said it was important for owners to be aware of possible symptoms and get in touch with a veterinary practice as soon as possible if there were any concerns.
He said, “The problem is the symptoms are not very clear in the early stages.
“An animal that is lethargic could be showing the early signs of poisoning, at least by phoning the vet initially if you have concerns you can get an opinion.”