POLICE and RSPCA officers are investigating the poisoning of pet dogs and cats in Briagolong.
A local veterinarian has identified the type of poison which has claimed the life of least one animal and required the ongoing and expensive treatment of other pets.
The rodenticide, or rat poison, works by interfering with a liver enzyme, which affects blood clotting.
RSPCA officers have visited Briagolong and conducted letter drops seeking information.
Social media posts say three pets were poisoned in the Smith St area of Briagolong.
Animal Clinic Maffra’s Dr Mark Neilan said the poisonings could have been a result of misadventure, as dogs could eat rat poison by accident, or cats could eat a poisoned rodent, but he hadn’t seen a cluster of poisonings like this before.
He also noted that the animal which died had been repeatedly exposed to the poison over at least two months.
Pet owners should keep an eye out for lethargy, blood in faeces or in the mouth and gums, lameness and coughing.
Dr Neilan added that if an animal had only recently ingested the poison, a vet could induce vomiting, but symptoms could take three to four days to become apparent, which then required an antidote and more testing.
People with information can phone Leading Senior Constable Tim Marshall at Maffra police on 5147 1026.