San Francisco

Dog Owners Claim Fertilizer Sickened Dogs in San Francisco

Dog owners in San Francisco claim their pups started vomiting and foaming at the mouth after visiting a city park last week, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The worried owners claim a chemical sprayed on the grass at Precita Park in Bernal Heights is what sickened the pooches.

While no one has said for sure what caused the two dogs to get sick after going to the park, regulars said they have a pretty good idea what happened.

"It's called Giardia, and it's a bacteria that can be found in moist soil," dog owner Patrece Bryan said. "The reason it's so pervasive here is because of the retaining wall; it keeps all the water in."

Dog owners claim Giardia, a parasite found in feces contaminated water and soil, is a big problem in the neighborhood. But veterinarians said the symptoms of the dogs who just got sick don't entirely match up with Giardia.

"It's not the typical sign that we see from Giardia, but it is a potential sign that we sometimes see," Dr. Joshua Van Geem of VCA said.

Veterinarians added that foaming of the mouth is more consistent with the dogs eating something disagreeable.

District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen was notified by the dog owners about the incident, according to the Chronicle. The owners emailed Ronen asking what fertilizer was used, what the schedule is for applying fertilizer and how the chemicals can be prevented from being used at the park in the future. Ronen proceeded to contact San Francisco Recreation and Park representatives to learn more about the allegations.

San Francisco Recreation and Park representatives said no fertilizer had been sprayed at the park in over a year, but they are still looking into the matter.

"We are still looking into our maintenance activities last week and would welcome any input from the public on any incidents that they might have possibly witnessed and believed to be related," the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department wrote in a statement.

An investigation into the allegations is ongoing.

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