August 2016

Today we are going to talk about Frank, an  8 year old male dachshund that came in on an emergency because he ingested rat poison. With fall rapidly approaching rodents often seek places to settle in for winter and there is increased use of rat bait and more calls for accidental pet ingestion of rat poison.

Frank. . .

The first and foremost thing to do if your pet ingests rat poison is identify the active ingredient in the poison and then seek immediate veterinary help. There are actually 4 types of rat poisons and they all act in different ways and treatment is also very different for each one. 

1. ANTICOAGULANT RODENTICIDES** this is the type of poison that Frank ingested and is the most common ingestion we see. They antagonize the vitamin K dependent blood clotting factors in the liver…ultimately resulting in bleeding. Treatment involves inducing vomiting and vitamin K supplementation. The pet can also become poisoned from eating the carcass of the dead animal…so be aware! 

2. CHOLCALCIFEROL (VITAMIN D3)  **this results in increased Calcium in the body and kidney damage/kidney failure. Only a small amount is highly toxic. There is NO antidote. Treatment is supportive only.

3. BROMETHALIN** causes sudden brain swelling/seizures and death. There is NO ANTIDOTE.,..Treatment includes induction of vomiting and supportive care of fluids and antiseizure mediations.
4.  PHOSPHIDES**  when ingested produces phosphide gas in the stomach. There is NO ANTIDOTE and treatment is supportive only.

With any of the poisons the prognosis is always more favorable the sooner treatment is initiated.  So please seek help immediately. 

Frank was brought into the clinic and we immediately induced vomiting with an injection of Apomorphine. The owner had tried hydorgen peroxide orally at home which unfortunately didn’t work in Franks case but it is something owners can try first to induce vomiting at home. Frank expelled large amounts of the green brick material until his stomach was totally evacuated. We then treated him with the antidote Vitamin K for 3 weeks. He will be coming in soon for a blood test following the treatment to be sure his clotting parameters are normal. 


by Betsy Geurts