Oct. 3 update: A veterinarian's report says Hutch the Australian Shepherd showed no signs of poisoning, according to North Vancouver Mounties. Neither police nor the BC SPCA is pursuing the incident.

When Hutch the Australian Shepherd arrived at a North Burnaby Clinic on Saturday, he was not doing well. He wasn’t eating, had a slow heart rate and had trouble lifting his legs and head.

The dog became sick and had a seizure after on Friday after a walk in Windsor Park in North Vancouver, and a trip to another vet for some anti-seizure medication hadn't improved his condition.

“He licked something on a rock,” said Meaghan Lind-Petersen, a veterinary technician who treated Hutch. “A brown substance. There was a little bit of white powderiness to it.”

Blood-work came back normal, Lind-Petersen said, but that doesn’t necessarily eliminate the possibility that the dog was deliberately poisoned. The vet was unable to do a urine test, which would have allowed it to screen for specific drugs.

Dog owners had spotted troubling signs in Windsor Park roughly a week ago, including one that read “dead dogs don’t s--t.”

“We’re very afraid,” said Kate Warren, who usually walks her dog Jax through the park every day. “Other dog owners are as well. The word spread very quickly in our neighbourhood.”

Warren has stopped walking Jax through the park for the time being, and North Vancouver RCMP are investigating to determine if anyone in the area may have had motivation to hurt animals.

For his part, Hutch is now feeling better. His condition has improved and he has been sent home. That said, Lind-Petersen is cautious about pronouncing him healed.

“Prognosis is still guarded as we don’t know what he ingested,” she said. “I don’t know if there will be long term effects of whatever was in his system.”

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Sheila Scott