Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Different Type of Rodent Poison Toxicity

Usually when a client calls with the "I think my pet got into rat/mouse" poison, I am thinking "this is a solvable problem because I know EXACTLY how to deal with and treat it BEFORE it even becomes clinical!" That is, if they didn't wait 2-3 days to let US know this.   That's because most rodent poisons are anti-coagulants and essentially cause their targeted species to bleed out. Now mind you, this will happen to any mammal that eats this stuff or eats a mouse that ate it (ie those hunting cats can be at risk). It takes a few days for the liver to be depleted of clotting factors (that depend on Vit K to help the liver make them).

In most cases, depending on when they "think" or saw the animal consume it, we can make them vomit up most/some of it, administer activated charcoal to absorb any left in there, and safely put them on VitK1 to protect their clotting ability for about 2-4 weeks. This is wonderful for 99% of the dogs (and cats) out there.  

Today I saw 2 puppies that got into ANOTHER type of rodent poison - bromethalin. This one, is not so good, because there is no antidote.

A report by veterinary toxicologists says: Signs of a sub-lethal dose include hind limb ataxia, depression, extensor rigidity, opisthotonus, lateral recumbency and vomiting. High doses may bring about severe muscle fasiculations, hind limb hyper-reflexia, seizures, hyperthennia, depression and death.

From the Toxicology Dept at Purdue University

 All we can do is put them on fluids, administer multiple doses of activated charcoal and if you see any neurologic signs, administer medications to help with the increased intracranial pressure. 

The thing is that you may not see signs for 24 hours AND if they consume a "sub-lethal" dose, it may take 1-5 days!!

Let's hope these pups are ok.  We don't yet know.

1 comment:

  1. I think this warrants an explanation of what activated charcoal is and how it works, so people don't shove burned toast into their pets... again!