The beached whale as it appeared after it was euthanized. (Photo by Doug Kuntz / April 9, 2010)
A new test shows that a dog who fell into a temporary coma earlier this month after eating meat it found during a walk on an East Hampton beach did not ingest barbituates, the dog’s owner said Thursday.
An initial test conducted by a veterinarian showed Sydney, a female Australian shepherd, had barbituates in her system, leading the owner to speculate the dog had eaten tainted whale meat left behind from the euthanization of a beached whale last month.
But a more sophisticated urine test did not show barbituates, said Joshua Brussell, 34, of East Hampton, a high school biology teacher.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is testing a sample from the stomach of an East Hampton dog who had been in a coma at its forensics lab in Charleston, S.C., to see if it contains remains of a whale euthanized with drugs, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
NOAA spokeswoman Teri Frady said the agency got a call last week from a veterinarian treating a comatose dog asking that it send a list of drugs used in the euthanasia of a whale off the shore of East Hampton’s Main Beach in early April.
The dog reportedly became ill after he went for a walk on adjacent Wiborg Beach last Thursday.
Frady said a vet detected what could have been barbiturates.
A sample is being sent to the lab to “see if it is indeed whale,” she said.
Jonathan Turetsky said that he had treated a comatose dog last Thursday at his Veterinary Clinic and Hospital of East Hampton.
“Our suspicion was that it was some sort of drug or toxin,” he said. He said that he was awaiting the results of the tests but would not elaborate further, citing client confidentiality.
He said that the dog had made a full recovery.