We received a phone call at 5.30pm on a Wednesday evening from a very worried owner who had just found his dog with his nose in a well hidden pile of freshly laid rat poison.
Very shortly afterwards Bruce was with us and after a quick examination was made to vomit. A very impressive pile of bright pink vomit was produced (not far off the size of Bruce!) and Bruce went home just a little sadder than he had arrived! Strict instructions were given to monitor for any signs of distress, breathing difficulties or abnormal behaviour and to call us if at all worried.
The next day he came back to see us for a blood test so we could be sure none of the rat poison had been absorbed into his body. Rat poison is a very effective anti-coagulant and so means that even a tiny bump or bruise can lead to a rapidly fatal bleeding. Therefore it was very important to check he had not absorbed enough poison to cause this.
Unfortunately the news was not good. Bruce’s blood was not clotting as quickly as it should do which suggested some of the rat poison had been absorbed. At this point he was started on vitamin K which is an antidote to the poison. This initially has to be given by injection. This is not ideal in a dog which is prone to bleeding as any trauma can lead to a large bleed therefore he was monitored very closely following each lot of injections.
Bruce’s blood was not clotting as quickly as it should do which suggested some of the rat poison had been absorbed.
After a long weekend of daily vitamin K injections Bruce’s blood tests showed that his blood was clotting much more normally. At this point we could stop giving vitamin K injections and started him on vitamin K tablets to enjoy over the next 3 weeks in the comfort of his own home. Just before and just after he finished his vitamin K tablets we did some final blood tests which showed he was 100% back to normal – he had survived his brush with death!!
His owners hope he might have learnt his lesson now – not everything you find outside is safe to eat!!