Spring time brings spring cleaning. As you are cleaning out your sheds and boats, keep an eye out for any mouse poison you may have put out in the fall.
The most common type of mouse poison is anticoagulant or warfarin-like rodenticide. Within this group, there are short acting and long acting products on the market. If your dog happens to find some mouse poison, bringing in the product label to your veterinarian is helpful. This information is used to determine the necessary length of treatment.
How are anticoagulant rodenticides toxic?
They stop the animal’s ability, dog or mouse, from clotting their blood. There are many factors in the blood and tissue that can be triggered to stop bleeding when an animal gets injured. The poison prevents the production of more clotting factors. As a result the animal will suffer from internal bleeding which can be fatal.
What are the symptoms of rodenticide exposure?
Signs are variable and could include: pale gums (normal in most pets is bubble gum pink), weakness, sore joints or coughing. External bleeding is often not seen. Dogs will not show signs of toxicity for several days after ingestion. If you are unsure but are suspicious of rodenticide exposure we can test the blood for its clotting ability.
Thankfully treatment is simple and easy – supplementation with vitamin K1. The length of treatment varies according to the type of poison consumed, so if you know specifically which rodenticide product your dog was exposed to then let us know. Even though dogs will not show signs of toxicity for several days after exposure, it is best to bring your dog in immediately for treatment and decontamination.
Within 30 minutes of consuming the poison, we are able to induce vomiting and hopefully get a large amount of the ingested poison out of the dog’s body before it causes harm.
Daily vitamin K1 supplementation may be necessary for up to 6 weeks. There are other types of vitamin K available, so please consult your veterinarian before trying to treat your dog at home.