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Anticoagulant Rodenticide Poisoning


Poisons being ingested possibly from contaminated feed with anticoagulant
concentrate. Knowing the exact chemical composition of the rodenticide ingested
is very important in determining the prognosis. "First-generation" anticoagulant
such as warfarin require multiple feeding to result in toxicity. "Second-generation"
anticoagulants such as indaniones are more dangerous as it may only take one
feeding to result in toxicity. Your pet's stay in the hospital is dependent on clotting
ability/anemia and other clinical signs.

However, even with aggressive care, intoxication may be fatal in 1-10 days.

Take note of the following:

1. Toxic effects may be additive due to additive exposure over several
2. The full extent of the intoxication may not be evident for several days
post ingestion.
3. These poisons exert their effect through chronic exposure. Dogs
need to eat a large amount of the poison at one time or eat a small
amount over a longer period (rare). Dogs eating a small amount only
once may need no treatment whatsoever (i.e. large dog chews on a
small "Mouse Proof").

Diagnostic Testing may consist of:

1. Obtain pre-treatment bloods, including a blue top tube, and "FDP"
tube if D.I.C. is a rule out.
2. Determine HCT.
3. Determine nail-bleeding time-normal
1. SQ injection (small gauge needle) of Vit. K @ 1mg/kg - outpatient TX.
2. Induce emesis or lavage if single exposure just prior to presentation,
and follow with 1 mg/kg Vitamin K1 orally for 7 days.
3. Vitamin K therapy if clinical signs of coagulopathy:
a) normal HCT- 2.5 mg/kg Vit. K1 divided bid. for 14-21 days.
b) mild anemia- 5mg/kg Vit. K1 divided in multiple sites SQ,
followed with 2.5 mg/kg Vit. K1 orally within 12 hrs, and
continue with 5 mg/kg Vit. K1 orally divided bid for 14 days.
c) moderate to severe anemia- 5 mg/kg Vit. K1 SQ divided
in multiple sites, followed with 5 mg/kg orally for 21 days.
4. If severe anemia with clinical signs-give fresh whole blood
transfusion (20-30ml/kg).
5. Plasma transfusions are preferred in non-anemic patients with
prolonged clotting times.
6. It may take 12-24 hrs. to correct clotting times after initiating
7. If malicious poisoning is suspected-collect and freezes at postmortem:
liver, stomach, intestinal contents, green top tube with
plasma, and blue top tube (refrigerate-do not freeze).
8. IV vitamin K injections are not recommended-it may cause

Once at home, you will need to do the following:

1. Restrict exercise at home at least 7 days to avoid consumption
of clotting factors, and onset of hemorrhagic episodes.
2. Recheck prothrombin time 2 days after last Vit. K1
a. If results are within normal limits-recheck PT in 2 more days.
b. If prolonged-treat for additional 14 days and recheck 2 days
after last dose.
3. Recheck PT again 4 days after last dose of Vit. K1
a. If results are within normal limits- assume anticoagulant is
b. If prolonged-treat additional 7 days, and recheck 2 days
after last dose.

  • Thursday, 22 May 2014


Contact Info

The Animal Hospital of Billings

We are located at 1110 Main St, Billings, MT 59105
Phone is:  (406) 245-6131
We are open on the following days and hours:
Monday through Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm
Saturdays 8:00am to 12:00 noon