Is Pet Poisoning on the rise in South Africa?

Pet Poisoning : This horrible saga continues.

I really hoped that I would not have to write a warning about this again soon. I could not go to sleep with a clear conscience if I did not warn everyone. Please warn all the people you know who own pets.

ALDICARB (trade name Temik) is widely used as a pesticide on crops such as cotton, potatoes and peanuts.

One teaspoon is enough to kill a grown rhino and 1mg (1 thousandth of a gram) can kill a rodent  – this substance is more poisonous than arsenic.  Why do I mention the Rhino?  Aldicarb has been used by poachers to kill Rhino!  It is not hard to imagine and indeed likely that Aldicarb has been the cause of human death, either on purpose or inadvertently.

The intentional poisoning of dogs with Aldicarb has reached epidemic proportions in South Africa.


Advertisement Pet FoodThis neurotoxin with the street name TWO STEP is a tasteless odourless black powder. It is placed in food by would be robbers. They toss the laced food over walls and fences; then wait a few days for the dogs to die. Dogs may die suddenly only 20 minutes after ingestion.  Other dogs may show various symptoms and die hours to days later if not taken to a veterinarian asap.

Symptoms vary and can occur in different combinations.  They include:

  • foaming from the mouth
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • severe abdominal pain
  • muscle twitching
  • muscle spasms
  • severe weakness
  • difficulty breathing
  • change in behaviour
  • constricted or dilated pupils
  • collapse
  • coma

If you suspect intoxication you should:

  1. Get your dog to the vet immediately.
  2. Bring your pets and children inside until you have determined if there is still poison outside.
  3. Wear gloves and wrap your dog in a towel to avoid contact with secretions which are toxic even on contact.
  4. Search your property for other contaminated food.
  5. Clean up any body secretions in the environment using slaked lime and large amounts of water, again wear gloves and take care not to have contact with these secretions.
  6. Contact your security company and or neighbourhood watch as dog poisoning is often a precursor to burglary or robbery.
  7. Contact the police, report the incident and lay a charge (THIS STEP IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!)  I have often heard from the police at community forums that they have no reports of these poisoning.

Although early treatment can be successful, prevention is infinitely better. Poisoning causes unbearable suffering, your per may still die even with intensive treatment which is expensive.

I always advise that is it is much safer keeping dogs inside at night - for you and your dogs. They are less likely to be poisoned or neutralised this way. This provides better protection for your dogs and your family. If you know of a poisoning or an attempted poisoning please tell your neighbours so they can take precautions and be on the lookout for perpetrators.


Owls which eat rodents may also be killed when you use these poisons.

Dr Larry Kraitzick B.V.Sc
Bruma Lake Veterinary Clinic (Find Dr Larry on Facebook)

Dr Larry KraitzickMore about Dr Larry Kraitzick:  Qualified in 1990 with Bachelor of Veterinary of Science from Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty.
In 1991 he ran a welfare clinic in Alexander Township. He went to the United Kingdom to register as a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1992 and began working at Yeoville Veterinary Clinic, which he took ownership of in 1993. Whilst running Yeoville Veterinary Clinic Dr Kraitzick  collaborated with Dr Leo Reinecke (Human Radiotherapy Specialist)  in treating selected pet cancer Patients with Chemotherapy.
He started Bruma Lake Vet Clinic in Johannesburg in 2002.  He travelled to the USA in 2013 to learn about the value of client communication and education using Media  with the emphasis on Electronic and Social Media. In October 2014 he started The Old Folk Pet Support Group and was part of a group who intervened to prevent senior residents of Tweedy Park (a government housing project on the East Rand) from being forced to get rid their pets.
Dr Kraitzick is married with two sons, three cats and a dog.


Wat kan jy doen as jy weet of dink jou hond is vergiftig?
Na die toename in hondevergiftiging, het die Herald by Dr Johan Naude uitgevind wat om te doen as jou hond vergiftig is.


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