What is Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning?

There are a variety of rodent poisons on the market, most falling into one of two categories: anticoagulants or bromethalin. Anticoagulants cause internal bleeding while bromethalin is a nerve toxin causing fluid build-up around the brain and spinal cord. Ingestion of either type of rodenticide can be life threatening and requires immediate emergency medical treatment.

Types

Anticoagulant Rodenticides

  • High-toxicity anticoagulants (second-generation) are used by and only available to professional exterminators.
  • The first-generation anticoagulant products are available to household consumers.
  • Anticoagulants prevent blood clotting, causing internal bleeding of all organ systems.
  • Anticoagulants work by depleting vitamin K reserves.

Bromethalin Rodenticides

  • Bromethalin-containing products are available to household consumers.
  • Bromethalin is a nerve toxin.
  • Bromethalin causes fluid buildup around and increased pressure on the brain and spinal cord.

Although infrequent, non-target species may ingest poisoned rodent pests and develop relay or secondary poisoning. Whenever a rodenticide exposure is suspected, it's the pet owners responsibility to document the day and time of exposure, brand name and manufacturer, active ingredients, and potential amount consumed. This will aide the veterinarian in immediate treatment.

Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning Average Cost

From 55 quotes ranging from $350 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,200

Symptoms of Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms may take anywhere from 2-14 days to appear following ingestion of rodent poison.

Symptoms of anticoagulant poisoning may not be present. Possible symptoms include:

  • Weakness
  • Low body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood in stool
  • Bloody nose

Symptoms of bromethalin poisoning in dogs include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased thirst
  • Pressing head against furniture
  • Circling
  • Impaired movement
  • Hind limb paralysis
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
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Causes of Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning in Dogs

A variety of rodent poisons are available on the market and all should be considered life-threatening if ingested.

Rat poisoning may be caused by:

  • Ingestion of rodent poison
  • Ingestion of a rat or mouse that has consumed rodent poison
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Diagnosis of Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning in Dogs

If you suspect a pet has gotten into rodent poison or if your pet is demonstrating symptoms of rat poisoning, collect the poison packaging/wrapper that lists the name of the product (and ingredients if possible) and transport your pet to the veterinarian immediately. There is no home treatment for rat poisoning.

The veterinarian will likely place the pet in treatment immediately so nurses can begin supportive care while he takes a thorough history. The veterinarian will want the packaging information from the rat poisoning if available. He will also want to know when symptoms began, when the material was ingested, and how much was ingested.

Unknown Poison Ingestion

If the poison source and amount ingested is unknown, blood testing and urinalysis will help the veterinarian determine the body systems affected. The physical examination can determine the presence of neurological symptoms which can help indicate what type of poison your pet has been exposed to.

Anticoagulant Poison Ingestion

Blood clotting tests (PT and PTT analysis) that demonstrate clotting disruption are suggestive of rat poisoning. The Proteins Induced by Vitamin K Antagonism (PIVKA) test is more specific for detecting rat poisoning.

Bromethalin Poison Ingestion

Bloodwork and urinalysis often do not show signs of bromethalin poisoning. If neurological symptoms are present, a brain scan using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scan can help visualize fluid buildup around the central nervous system.

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Treatment of Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning in Dogs

If your pet is diagnosed with rat poisoning, treatment depends upon the type of poison your pet has ingested.

Anticoagulant Poison Treatment

In the case of poisoning by an anticoagulant rodent poison, the first step is to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to bind any residual toxin. Enema may also be administered to clear the bowels. As depletion of vitamin K reserves is the cause of the clotting deficiency, vitamin K will be injected and oral vitamin K will be prescribed for continued treatment at home. Blood transfusion may be required if the patient has experienced significant blood loss. Early diagnosis and treatment for anticoagulant poisoning has a good prognosis.

Follow up blood tests at two and four days post-visit may be necessary to ensure internal bleeding is no longer an issue and to monitor replenishment of clotting factors in the blood. When clotting factors have returned to normal, vitamin K therapy can be discontinued.

Bromethalin Poison Treatment

In the case of poisoning by bromethalin, the first step is to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to bind any residual toxin. Enema may also be administered to clear the bowels. Valium or other medications may be administered to control seizures and muscle tremors.

Supportive therapy will need to continue in the hospital or at home for as long as symptoms continue. Neurological problems as a result of bromethalin poisoning can last for up to 6 weeks post-ingestion.

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Recovery of Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning in Dogs

Prognosis for rat poisoning can be good as long as treatment is administered soon after ingestion. Recovery can take up to 6 weeks for bromethalin poisoning. Recovery of anticoagulant poisoning can be complete in 2-3 weeks with proper treatment.

When purchasing rodent poisons, be sure to keep the packaging available in case of accidental ingestion. Store the product in a safe place out of reach of pets or children. Dispose of dead rodents properly since they contain the poison as well. Choose an anticoagulant over bromethalin since anticoagulant poisons can be countered with vitamin K therapy. If you can, avoid using poisons altogether and use rodent traps instead.

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Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning Average Cost

From 55 quotes ranging from $350 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,200

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Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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dog-breed-icon

mixed

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Six Years

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Seizures

I am frantically trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong with my dog. She has zero energy all day, and when we do force her to get up, she is really weak (Legs trembling) and seems dazed/confused. She has even had her legs give up on her a few times. Started when she had a random, 15 second seizure few weeks ago. Seemed fine afterwards until she had another one 7 days after. Bloodwork/urinalysis/physical exam seem normal, but something very wrong is going on. Suggestions? Eats/drinks normal too...

Dec. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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2 Recommendations

I'm so sorry to hear this. If her blood and urine test were normal, we should run additional tests to see why she has had fits. This may mean e.g. a CT scan or a spinal tap. At this age, epilepsy is unlikely and there is more likely an underlying cause such as a brain tumour or infection. As she is getting worse, I would want her seen again and we should run some more tests. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this soon. In the mean time, she may well benefit from some anti seizure medicine.

Dec. 25, 2020

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Woodrow

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Cavapochon

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6 Months

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Lack Of Appetite
Dehydration
Lethargy

We believe my dog got into rat poisoning six weeks ago. My parents had some at their house and their house and a few days later there was bright green in his feces. We took him to the vet and he got a charcoal treatment. Ever since he has been extremely lazy, won’t eat, dehydrated and has now started to hit his head into things and has no balance. He has been back to the vet 4 times now but they keep telling me if it was rat poison it would have been lethal or his symptoms would have gone away. They have done blood work and everything is normal and they keep doing test and surgery without finding anything. I still think it is from the rat posin. Are there any other treatments for this type of posin and what are the possibilities of if still being lethal after 6 weeks?

Sept. 14, 2018

Woodrow's Owner

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Anticoagulant and Bromethalin Poisoning Average Cost

From 55 quotes ranging from $350 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,200

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