Rat Bait Poisoning
Rat bait (rodenticide) poisoning is the most common poisoning we see in the clinic. It generally affects dogs as they are more readily ruled by their stomachs! It is rare to see in cats.
There are various rat baits on the market including Talon, Storm, Pindone, Racumin and Pest Off. These baits work by preventing the production of clotting factors (anticoagulants). This lack of clotting factors causes prolonged and uncontrolled bleeding which is often fatal if untreated.
Primary poisoning (eating the bait directly) is the most common route of exposure. If you have rat bait on your property your dog is at risk. Even bait that is hidden away can be "sniffed out" or dragged out into the open by rats which is then accessible.
To reduce the risk of ingestion
1) Use bait stations to lay the poison.
2) Store poison in watertight plastic containers (rats can eat through the bags of bulk poison and then dogs gain access).
3) Take note of signs detailing poisoning programs in bush areas /farmlands.
Secondary poisoning when a dog/ cat eats a rat that has been poisoned is rare but can occur.
Following ingestion it takes 3 –5 days before bleeding starts. This is due to a "store" of clotting factors which are used up before clinical bleeding occurs. Clinical signs of bleeding include lethargy, white gums, anorexia, laboured breathing, dark faeces and lameness.
Diagnosis when ingestion of bait has been undetected is based on the presence of rat bait on the property, clinical exam findings and a blood sample to check the clotting time. Clotting times are increased 48 hours after the ingestion of rat bait.
Treatment of rat bait toxicity involves supplementation with Vitamin K1 until the bait is out of the system. The length of vitamin K treatment needed depends on the type and amount of bait ingested but on average at least 2 weeks treatment is needed. When life threatening bleeding has occurred a blood transfusion is needed to replace the lost red blood cells and rapidly replace clotting factors.
When the ingestion of rat bait is known the best treatment is the induction of vomiting to prevent absorption. This needs to be done within 2-3 hours after ingestion. A blood clotting test can then be taken 48 hrs later to determine the need for vitamin K treatment.
If you see or suspect your dog has eaten rat bait call the clinic ASAP. With prompt and effective treatment the prognosis is good.
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Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Quality milk is milk that is produced by a healthy udder, free of unwanted substances (e.g. antibiotics), and stored, treated and processed properly. The starting point is a healthy udder.
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Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Endometritis is a low-grade infection of the lining of the uterus that affects fertility and increases the period from calving to conception if a cow is infected. Most cows become infected around calving time. Treatment should be aimed at restoring fertility.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Non-cycling cows are cows that have not yet shown a heat at the planned start of mating. They occur for a wide variety of reasons including low body condition, endometritis, lameness etc.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Dairy production systems are changing from the traditional NZ all grass, seasonal systems to more supplement based, often split-calving systems. Dairy nutrition is a complicated process and a lot of research is done all over the world to optimize the way we feed our dairy cows.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Be vigilant with young dairy stock at this time of the year to ensure they have adequate feeding and parasite control in place.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Velvet antler removal is defined as a "controlled surgical procedure" under the Animal Welfare Act 1999. This means the procedure can only be performed by, or under the direct supervision of, a veterinarian.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: In what has become a regular feature of our May calendar, we host a group of final year Massey University vet students here who are doing a Special Interest Topic in deer.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: NZ has just one species of tick and luckily it doesn't carry any major diseases. However, we are seeing increasingly more properties with tick problems, especially deer farms.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: For those of you that subscribe to the AgLetter - I refer you to the excellent article of the 3rd July issue. As usual Chris Garland and his team get the "good noise" on issues and present excellent information to the industry. This article reviewed the practice of using Long Acting (LA) treatments in ewes pre lamb and my comments are as follows (you will need to read the article first).
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Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Teaser rams are entire rams that have been vasectomised. They have both testes still so they are keen to do the job but the operation has rendered them infertile - permanently. They are used to encourage ewes to begin oestrus activity in autumn and if used correctly the teaser rams can get this oestrus activity very well synchronized. This has some big positives - read on.
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