Rachita writes: Do most dogs that recover from rat poisoning, do so completely and without any long-term residual symptoms? In addition, do any precautions need to be taken when she is taken back home and is with her sister (who is healthy, no ingestion of poison)? Thanks again for all your efforts here! (For the full text of Tikki’s story click on this link and scroll down to the COMMENTS section.)
Rachita’s dog, Tikki,
ingested a rodenticide while Rachita was out of town and her dog was staying with her parents. (Can you imagine the grandparent guilt?) There is special cause for concern in Tikki’s case because blood was discovered in the lungs during examination at the local emergency hospital.
In Tikki’s case, not only was vitamin K1 administered, but an infusion of plasma was also required. Plasma administration is especially helpful when clotting factors have been exhausted from the bloodstream. It takes time for the liver to begin to produce its own clotting factors, whereas providing exogenous plasma (from a local donor dog or purchased from a blood bank) allows the body to resume clotting at a near-normal level very quickly.
If rodenticide continues to be active in the body, plasma administration may have to be repeated.
Once a rat-poison patient is “out of the woods,” long-term prognosis becomes good. The degree of danger up to that point depends on a variety of factors including type of rat poison, duration of poisoning prior to treatment, effectiveness in removing rodenticide from the body. Other variables include patient specifics such as age, preexisting health problems and response to treatment.
Potential complications include pneumonia in Tikki’s case because blood is a good culture medium and the warm, moist lungs make a good place for infections to grow.
If a dog or cat bleeds so greatly as to deprive the brain of oxygen for a significant period of time, certain neurological problems may occur after recovery. Seizures and loss of mental acuity could also occur.
Rachita, breathe easy. Tikki sounds like she is well on her way to recovery. She is getting all the right treatments, and now you must be faithful on followup medicine and testing to ensure that she will be free from relapses.
Click on “Rodenticide Poisoning” under the Categories listings on the right side of this page. Read all of the posts, including the Comments in order to glean all of the information you need to ensure that your pet’s care is done correctly and completely.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.