Dog falls ill after eating rat poison; 'no link' to otter death

Above: The alpha male otter, nicknamed Ah Huat, which disappeared last week after being observed to be sickly and is presumed dead. Left: A blue rat poison block found along the Singapore River by Ms Amy Parsons, whose dog fell ill after eating one.
Above: The alpha male otter, nicknamed Ah Huat, which disappeared last week after being observed to be sickly and is presumed dead. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF TAN YONG LIN, AMY PARSONS
Above: A blue rat poison block found along the Singapore River by Ms Amy Parsons, whose dog fell ill after eating one.
Above: A blue rat poison block found along the Singapore River by Ms Amy Parsons, whose dog fell ill after eating one.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF TAN YONG LIN, AMY PARSONS

Pest control firm Rentokil is investigating the case of a dog that fell ill after eating rat poison along the Singapore River, but said the recent death of an otter is unlikely to be due to that poison.

Ms Amy Parsons, a 38-year-old teacher, told The Straits Times that she was walking her dog on June 1 when it ate a blue block near the Grand Copthorne Hotel.

"He sniffed it and ate it. I didn't think a lot of it but I kept walking and saw more blue blocks in the bushes," she said.

She took her dog to a vet, who confirmed the block was rat poison and induced the dog to throw it up. It has since recovered.

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Her story was shared on Facebook by otter watcher Nick Soo, who said he was concerned that the otter was possibly poisoned.

The alpha male otter, nicknamed Ah Huat, had disappeared last week after being observed to be sickly and was presumed dead.

A spokesman for Rentokil told The Straits Times yesterday it believes the dog incident was "an isolated one". After Ms Parsons made the report, its team conducted a full site check and removed the rat baits and remaining traces.

The Rentokil spokesman said it is unlikely that there is a connection between the rat poison and the otter's death.

Even if consumed, the dosage is too low to cause major harm to the animal, she said.

She added that its products meet the standards of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations and the National Environment Agency.

"Rentokil has robust standards in place to safeguard the health and safety of our clients, their premises and the public," she said.

Rentokil is still investigating.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2017, with the headline 'Dog falls ill after eating rat poison; 'no link' to otter death'. Print Edition | Subscribe