BLAINE, Minn. (FOX 9) - After two family dogs died in less than a week, and a third remains seriously ill, a veterinarian suspects intentional poisoning may be the cause. Now, the devastated family is looking for answers and has filed a police report as they grieve the loss of their two beloved pets.
"They’re wonderful dogs, wonderful companions," said the dogs' owner Katie Saleum. "They love kids they love our family, they’re just beautiful, beautiful breed."
Katie and Kevin Saleum’s three shar-peis are their world. "They’re our children they’re our kids," said Katie. "And the house is very quiet right now."
Last Wednesday morning, their 3-year-old Baxter started throwing up and was clearly sick, so they took him to an emergency vet.
"By the next day at 12:30, he was gone," said Katie.
At that time, his death was heartbreaking but not suspicious. "Initially, they thought it was a gastrointestinal issue, something relatively common," said Katie.
Five days later, five-year-old Boomer started having the same symptoms.
"Panic, panic, panic," said Katie. "My stomach sunk my heart sunk. We didn’t want to have a repeat of Baxter with Boomer."
They rushed him to the animal hospital and, shortly after, their youngest 2-year-old Bowser started having symptoms too.
"We looked at each other and thought something is happening here, this isn’t normal, this isn’t right," said Katie. "We’ve got an issue here."
Sadly, Boomer didn’t make it. With Bowser is in the hospital fighting for his life, their vet, Dr. Alyssa Mourning with Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Arden Hills, ran a toxicology screening.
"Bowser did test positive for oxycodone," said Dr. Mourning.
Dr. Mourning says, while they can’t test for it, they believe the dogs were also exposed to xylitol, a chemical toxic for dogs and commonly found in things like sugar-free gum.
"We have absolutely no idea where this came from," said Katie.
"We can’t come up with another solution other than these dogs were poisoned," added Dr. Mourning.
Thankfully, Bowser is on the mend and will likely be coming home soon.
"He’s resting comfortably he’s eating he’s doing okay," said Dr. Mourning.
The Saleums have filed a report with Blaine police and they're warning other families to be on the lookout.
"You don’t anticipate starting the week and losing half your family," said Katie. "We don’t want other families to feel this way, it’s devastating."
The family has also launched an online fundraiser to help cover the massive vet bills they've racked up during the car of their pets. You can click here for more information on that.