Salmon Arm couple suspect dog died after eating poisonous plant on hike

Salmon Arm couple suspect dog died after eating poisonous plant on hike

Beloved healthy English Springer Spaniel dies suddenly while hiking Shuswap trail

Rob Marshall and his dog Cole were enjoying a Sunday hike in the Shuswap when all of a sudden the English Springer Spaniel became deathly ill.

Minutes later, Cole would collapse, go into convulsions and die.

The two had been hiking the 20-kilometre Reinecker Creek trail loop at Herald Provincial Park. The healthy, seven-year-old canine was off-leash, sticking near Marshall but checking things out along the way.

About two hours into the loop and nearing the top of the trail, Marshall said Cole began suffering bouts of diarrhea. The two took a break at a footbridge before carrying on to the east half of the trail. Marshall said he was about 50 yards from where they stopped when he realized Cole wasn’t with him. He looked back and saw the dog staring at him from where they’d just departed.

“I could tell something wasn’t right,” said Marshall. “I turned back and went towards him, and when I got near him, his head was hanging down and he had drool pouring out the sides of his mouth.”

The dog threw up and, at first, Marshall thought it might have been indigestion, “nothing serious – until he took a step towards me and he completely collapsed.”

Over the next 15 minutes, Cole would throw up a second time, then begin frothing at the mouth and twitching and convulsing, “and then everything went to a standstill.”

Marshall said he carried Cole back to a point along the trail (an old forestry road) where he could drive in and retrieve dog.

While the cause of death has not yet been determined, Rob and wife Nicole say Cole had a habit of grazing on grass, and they believe their dog died from ingesting water hemlock, a poisonous plant that grows in the Shuswap.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Read more: Pretty but potentially deadly

Read more: Toxic plant crops up in Salmon Arm

Read more: Poison lurks beneath the petals of some Shuswap plants

The morning after the hike, the Marshalls took Cole’s body to their veterinarian and asked if a necropsy could be performed. They were informed that there were only certain things that could be tested for. What they did learn was that Cole had been a healthy animal with no notable issues – no signs of trauma or heart disease or tumours.

Marshall says he didn’t know about water hemlock, let alone consider it a cause, until he brought it up with members of the Shuswap Trail Alliance, for which he is a board member.

“Two different people mentioned this water hemlock plant, that it’s very toxic,” said Rob, who began researching the plant and learned it is very common in B.C., particularly in marshy areas and along water courses, “which describes the area I was hiking in.”

The Marshall’s also found symptoms related to consuming water hemlock in line with what Cole suffered.

Though they wait for tests to come back, the Marshall’s aren’t expecting a definitive answer. But knowing what they do now, as they grieve the loss of their beloved pet and hiking buddy, they wish to get the word out about water hemlock and other poisonous plants, urging caution when out exploring the region.

“I think maybe on our local trail maps, it might not be a bad idea to identify some of these very dangerous plants that are out there, just show what they look like and be careful or be cautious out there when hiking or walking along certain areas of the trails,” offered Rob.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Water hemlock. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Water hemlock. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Rob and Nicole Marshall’s dog Cole on the Enderby Cliffs hike. (Rob Marshall photo)

Rob and Nicole Marshall’s dog Cole on the Enderby Cliffs hike. (Rob Marshall photo)

Just Posted

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Kelowna school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say they are self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swan and eagle numbers

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Most Read