“If we had known what it was, we would not have let her do it”

Sunday January 16, Thierry Trimoulinard is doing work in the neighboring house that they bought with his wife. “There is a reinforced concrete vat room that we wanted to transform into an office, remembers the mother of the family. On the sides of the wall, there were crystals, they must have been there for fifteen or twenty years. »

Popsie, their 2-year-old Australian Shepherd, eats these residues. His mistress does not know it yet but it is gravel, a deposit at the end of the harvest, formed by sugar fermented with grape juice. The next day, January 17, the female vomited in the car after the ride. “In the evening, she stayed in bed and had trouble getting up, continues Patricia Trimoulinard. I told myself that it was nothing, that she might have eaten something, that it would pass. »


Popsie, a 2-year-old Australian shepherd, died after ingesting gravel last January in Sonnac in the Vals de Saintonge.

photo of the Trimoulinard family

“Attracted by sugar”

On Tuesday morning, direction Rouillac, in Charente, to the veterinarian. Popsie’s rear end isn’t responding well. A blood sample is taken. “Wouldn’t she have eaten gravel?” we ask her once she arrives. This is the case and it is unfortunately devastating. The tartaric acid contained in the grape, and therefore in the gravel, has the effect of damaging the kidneys. This causes kidney failure which, if not taken care of immediately, leads to the death of the animal. They are advised to have her euthanized. This will be the case on Wednesday, four days after the unfortunate ingestion of gravel by the young dog.

“Dogs are very attracted to sugar,” summarizes Julie Condemine, veterinary assistant in Rouillac, Charente. And the grape is poisonous for them, if we don’t know, we can’t guess. The professional reveals that it is quite common. “Many winegrowers, who are unaware, have lost their dog this way. In 2021, we must have had six or seven cases in the office. »

double penalty

For the couple, this death is “a double pain, both emotional and professional”. Patricia Trimoulinard planned to do a small breeding “to help us financially”. “We had just obtained the certification of the French Book of Origins (LOF), in Vendée,” she says. The dog had celebrated her 2nd birthday at the end of December 2021 and was going to be able to welcome her first litter. “It’s hard to project yourself after…” So if her experience sharing could help others, it would be a good thing for her.

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