Poisons - A caution for pet owners

Arrow is a 9 year old male Cocker Spaniel who presented to us at the clinic with symptoms of a tender stomach and large amounts of blood in his urine, he was very lethargic and not interested in eating. On examination it was discovered that he had very white gums, a slight wheeze in his chest and very tender around the stomach.

Arrow's owner was suspicious that he may have ingested some rat bait pellets the week before. If rat or snail bait is ingested, the animal's blood will not clot effectively, therefore resulting in excess blood loss. Arrow was immediately admitted into the hospital and a quick blood test confirmed the suspicion that he had ingested the rat bait.

Vitamin K was administered; this helps the blood begin to clot again. A blood transfusion was also arranged to help replace lost blood in his system. 24 Hours after the blood transfusion Arrow had improved immensely, his gums were now a normal pink colour, he was bright and happy and couldn't get the food into him quick enough.

Today Arrow is at home back to normal, he needed to continue Vitamin K tablets daily for 6 weeks ensure his blood continued to clot successfully.

Arrow's story highlights the dangers of poisons in the household. So next time you have a pest problem think about the alternatives to poisons. If you are storing products such as rat bait, make sure you keep them well out of reach from pets.