In November 2017 a client’s dog sadly died after chewing an old weathered cattle bolus, one of a number found on the hill south of Walditch. These ruminal devices are used in some cattle to control metabolic disease. They contain a drug called monensin which is extremely toxic, if eaten, to dogs and horses. The plastic casing is very tough, even after prolonged weathering, so the boluses are toxic only if they are chewed; conversely the contents are likely to remain potentially lethal for years. Once the toxin is absorbed, treatment for monensin poisoning is unlikely to be successful. The police are investigating the fatal case of November last year. If you find any similar devices whilst walking please hand them into the local police and give them the accurate location. They are orange when new but fade to off-white after weathering. If your dog does chew such a device, please contact the surgery immediately so that we can induce vomiting before the drug is absorbed.