Meet Maximus and Rocky - they are two gorgeous Labradors, both Rescue dogs, now living the good life with their Dad.
Recently they gave their Dad a very big scare. He had just fed them their daily dinner when they happened across, and consumed an entire 160g container of Rat Bait poison in the Garage cupboard! Dad was unsure which, or if both dogs were guilty, so we had to assume it could have been either or both! Dad, totally on to it, rang ahead to warn us and got down to our clinic within a very short time.
With such a large dose of poison, time is of the essence, so we had drugs made up ready to get these lads to vomit both at the same time, on arrival. It would be fair to say these were lovely but exuberant boys. Trying to contain the roaming while they brought up their dinner and the entire shared 160g container was hard work. We had sticky dog mess everywhere, which they were determined to walk through and further distribute…. What had started as a great lark now seemed much less fun for them both.
We were very grateful they had had their dinner because it slowed down the absorption of the poison and was probably a life saver. Even with treatment, very high levels of rat bait ingestion can be lethal. Also, we can only assume we get about 40-60% of stomach contents out with vomiting. So, the next step is to give Activated Charcoal with sorbitol.
The Activated Charcoal adsorbs onto hopefully most of the remaining particles of poison in the gut, and stops it from being taken up into the blood stream. The sorbitol acts as a laxative and makes it all move through the intestines very quickly to minimise the amount of time any poison has, to be absorbed. The down side - expect dark scary loose bowel motions for a day or two and thirsty dogs.
Unwilling to eat the charcoal mixed into a tin of food (unusual for Labs!) we then had to syringe 150ml of the sticky black stuff mixed into food, by mouth into these two bubbly dogs. I think this was their pay back to us!
Anna does have to acknowledge that these were two of the loveliest natured dogs we have met in a long time. But the mess was legendary, we started with one Chocolate and one Yellow Lab, and ended with two Black coloured Labs. The floor looked like a volcano had erupted within the neighbourhood. Kendall, Angela and Anna were finding splatters of charcoal from earhole to… other places, all night. Even the owner was astonished at our combined accomplishment.
The boys were discharged home with strict instructions that they were both to present at their day clinic at 36-48 hours post ingestion for a blood test to determine if there was any effect of the poison on their clotting ability. If so they would need to be treated for a further 4-6 weeks with Vitamin K to prevent potentially fatal bleeding.
Happily, for Max and Rocky, the 48-hour blood test showed that we had no bleeding tendency, and no further treatment was needed. Their Dad had done everything right by calling ahead, and getting them down so very quickly, and got lucky that it occurred so close to dinner time. Never- the-less I think rat bait will be Off the Shopping List forever from now on!!! Awful stuff. We hate it!