Veterinarians busy as pets fall ill; some animals attracted to contaminated water

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — PetVet Animal Hospital in Salt Lake said they have seen an uptick in dogs coming in with stomach issues since Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving in itself has a lot of dogs that get table scraps or stress from different people visiting; so, it’s really hard to say if it’s from that or if it’s from this contaminated water,” explained Dr. Melanie Pearson about the uptick.

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Dr. Pearson said dogs have been coming in with decreased appetite, vomiting, decreased energy and diarrhea.

“At this concentration, it’s diluted in water so a lot of pets maybe aren’t showing anything, maybe just diarrhea, maybe just decreased appetite, just generally not themselves,” she added.

She said petroleum products can be lethal in concentrated amounts; humans should start bathing and giving their pets bottled water or take their furry friends to a friend or family’s place that has safe, clean water.

Another veterinarian from Alii Pet Hospital & Resort said some animals are actually attracted to the contaminated water.

“Sometimes, specifically with petroleum, they [cats and dogs] seem more attracted to it and are more prone to eating or drinking that contaminant, so they do get really sick,” explained Dr. Whitney Pressler, of the Alii Pet Hospital & Resort.

Dr. Pressler said it can also result in respiratory issues and toxins can linger in their systems two weeks after being exposed.

“It can be fatal,” Dr. Pressler stated. “Owners should be looking out for things like difficulty breathing, or pale or bluish tinge to their gums, vomiting and diarrhea for sure. They can have pain in their mouth, they might be pulling at their face or they may have paws that are contaminated if they were walking through a contaminated area.”

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If a pet passes away there are tests that vets can do that can pinpoint the cause.

“There are tests that they can do on the vomit and the fecal matter and compare it to the toxins that they have found in the drinking water, and they can actually match the hydrocarbons,” Dr. Pressler continued.

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