Case/patient of the week and timely reminder for everyone.
The mice and rats are on the move seeking out warm places to live which means an increase in people using mouse and rat baits.
Rat and mouse baits are (unfortunately) very tasty for our pets as well. This time of year is when we usually see in an increased incidence of rat bait toxicity in both cats and dogs mostly from eating the bait directly but secondary poisoning from eating the dead rodents has happened in our smaller pets.
Jedda presented to us weak, pale, cold and had an increased respiratory effort. Her owners were very worried she had eaten rat bait without them realising. We ran an in-house coagulation time and haematology which showed she wasn’t clotting her blood properly and was anaemic. On physical exam we couldn’t hear her heart properly.
Jedda was in shock and in a critical condition. We were suspicious Jedda was bleeding in to her chest which was confirmed via X-ray. The blood in the chest cavity meant that she could not expand her lungs properly and hence was having trouble breathing
She was immediately started on intravenous fluids, active warming, nasal oxygen, vitamin K, which is the antidote for most rat bait toxicities, and a fresh frozen plasma transfusion to replace clotting factors.
After 48 hours of care Jedda was strong enough to eat, walk a small distance and be off nasal oxygen. She was still anemic but her body had started making new red blood cells and her clotting time was back to normal. The blood in her chest had significantly reduced so we did not need to drain it. Jedda went home for lots of TLC, rest and 4 weeks of vitamin K.
If you suspect your pet has eaten rat bait please call the practice on (03) 5484 2255. Other signs of rat bait toxicity, along with pale gums and weakness, are obvious bleeding from the nose or mouth, blood in the urine and bruising on the skin and gums.
*case posted with permission from owner