For more see the article here: Fear keeps popular beaches almost bare
"We live in Taupo and Auckland. When we visit Auckland every three weeks we always have our dogs on the North Shore beaches. About two and a half weeks ago one of our dogs started vomiting and couldn't exercise.
X-rays showed inflammation of the lung linings. Blood tests didn't show anything. At the time the vet did ask if the dog had been near rat poison. (Unfortunately this much-loved dog has since died after being run over.)We have just been on Auckland beaches again this past weekend and yesterday our second dog vomited. She is okay and we are having her checked." - Gaylene Spencer
See also: Mass poison drops scheduled to wipe out pests. Nearby Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands were recently baited with rat poison on two separate occasions in the last couple of months, the last one in the week 9-17 Jul.
As yet tests haven't established the source or type of toxin responsible for the dogs' illnesses. It's thought their symptoms could be unrelated to the death of large numbers of pilchards and of sea birds and dolphins. Tests for toxic algae, which could have been eaten by the dogs, have come back negative.
Test are continuing on the fish for pilchard virus - a form of the herpes virus which affects the gills of this species of fish and causes asphyxiation.