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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two incidents of blood tracking dachshunds that ingested rat poison

I was to post this letter in November, but things were pretty hectic here during tracking season and the message got misfiled. Only recently when another United Blood Trackers member's dog, actually Billy's daughter, got really sick because she ingested rat poison, I recalled the first post. It was written by Dan Forystek, a handler from Illinois:

We had a bad thing happen last week and rather than see anyone else experience what we went through I'm forwarding this info in case any of you have this misfortune.

While hunting out of town I was invited to an old farm house that some friends and relatives were renting while bowhunting. They had running water, hot showers, good food and a real bed. They knew I had none of the above and although that didn't bother me much I decided to accept the offer after making it clear that where I go so does Ishi, my blood tracking dog. "By all means we would like to see this dog we heard about" was one reply. 

The first evening there Ishi was all over snooping around and I was right behind her keeping her in check, or so I thought. After she ate she laid down on the kitchen floor barely out of sight. I heard her chewing on something and jumped up to see what it was. A cube of rat poison. I quickly grabbed it and opened her mouth removing all that I could. Looking up in shock at the only other person there at the time I said good thing I caught her so quickly. The cube of poison was barely touched and I got what I figured was all she chewed off. After a couple of phone calls getting info about effects and what to look for I thought we were in the clear and kept her at my side and in sight no exceptions.

The following day her stool showed the tiniest amount of blue die. It was just the beginning. The next sample that evening revealed an entirely different story completely died blue/green in the entire stool. It had passed through her entire system and the poison was at it's fullest effect. 

A return to the farm house revealed containers of poison hidden in every room, behind trash cans and couches and chairs. In the kitchen was a new two oz. container that Ishi snatched up the first day we visited there 48 hrs earlier. I called our vet to locate an emergency clinic that would be open all night, packed everything up and drove an hour and a half away. Arriving at midnight I provided labels and samples of two different brands of the poison used. 

She was given a transfusion of plasma and her blood platelets were checked to monitor the ability to clot. She spent the night there and the following day I picked her up and visited our vet for another blood platelet level check. She will be getting vitamin K for three weeks and R &R at least for a week unless the next blood test reads differently. Our vet said the plasma transfusion that I okayed, all though very expensive, made all the difference in a more certain recovery. Ishi is expected to make a full recovery. After many questions I learned that if you suspect your dog has ingested rat poison you can induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide, about a cup to a cup and a half. Tilt the dogs head back and if you have a turkey baster or squirt bottle slowly squirt it into the corner of the mouth followed by some water. A visit to your vet is next.

Dogs eating this poison is not all that uncommon as the poison has a strong appeal, more than a dog can resist.Small dogs can move large pieces of furniture in an effort to get the prize according to the E.M.T.

Did you ever think you would have to ask someone who invites you and your dog to stay, " Oh by the way you don't have any rat poison lying around, do you?"

Dan Forystek


Ginger's ordeal started on March 11, and I learned from Kevin Clark "Jolanta, please include Ginger in your prayers We took her into vet this morning vomiting blood coughing They X-rayed her and only part of her left lung was inflated. They are treating her as if she was poisoned. I'm not sure how or where she got into any poison They informed me that her condition had not gotten any worse today but that they were gonna give her a blood transfusion". A week later, yesterday, Kevin reported that "Every day seems to bring a little improvement. She is starting to get around a lot better. She will go in Wednesday for blood work. She's on vitamin K and an antibiotic 1 time a day."

I heard of other dogs that actually died after ingesting rat poison. Make sure that when you take your dog to unfamiliar place you ask people whether there is chance of finding rat poison around. There are many articles on the web about poisoning with warfarin, for which Vitamin K is an antidote, like this one - click here. But this is not the only poison available.

Be aware that Bromethalin does not have an antidote. It is labeled as a rodenticide, it is often used for rodent-like mammals such as moles and voles. It is often hidden inside a worm-like bait to attract moles. Learn more about it by reading this good article.

1 comment:

Robin Mousseau said...

I'm so anal about this it's a good thing. I never go any place without looking under, around, over, etc and asking if there's anything the dogs can get into. So scary you never know what their crazy little selves can get into. The nose can lead them to good or bad.
Very important to always look and/or ask. I hope all your readers took this to heart.