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Discussion Starter #1
About 3-4 days ago my 10 year old Chihuahua got into a bag of rat poison. He walked into my room from outside and I instantly noticed something was odd. He wasn't listening to me calling him and when he shook off he started to stumble around. I thought maybe it was stress from the storm we were having earlier so I kept an eye on him. Then the vomiting and the heavy breathing started soon after. I drove him to the vet emergency room and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. Long story short, we managed to find a small bag of Tomcat rat poison by the tree and called the vet right away. They gave him fluids fortunately he recovered enough to walk and eat on his own a few days later. Now, he's not the same pup I knew all these years. He circles around the bedroom and yard in the same pattern and walks slowly since he has trouble fully controlling his back legs. He responds to his name and follows us around but he's a lot more lethargic. I know that the poison must have rewired parts of him and we're working to make him feel as comfortable as possible.

My question is has anyone else dealt with this type of thing before? Will he improve or is this behavior pretty much going to be the usual? The vet gave us pain medication just incase and medication to help him relax and sleep at night.

Any information would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I'm Not a vet, but have seen the results of a dog poisoned with rodent poison...and so what I say is just based upon that one thing. I don't want to scare you but I think you should probably pursue what all can be done at this point for your dog.

Depending upon the poison....I know that vitamin K is used to help in rodent poisoning - it blocks it from making the animal have internal bleeding.

Did your emergency vet or vet tell you anything about what kind of poison, what was given to counter act it....ect...and what to expect in regards of recovery and/or permanent impairment the poison might have caused to your dog?
I think you should get your dog into your regular vet or get a 2nd opinion...find out what kind of poison was used...and find out...the non-sugar coating expectation of real recovery for your dog.

Many rodent poisonings cause internal bleeding...so you should also watch for bloody stool and vomiting.

I had a friend who's dog got into rodent poison also, and unfortunately, he too was never quite the same and he passed away within 6 months of the incident...he was about a 20 pound dog and only 10 years old...which is elderly but a dog his size can usually make it to 14 or 16 years.

Their vet warned them that the poison had shortened their dog's life span but he said that he couldn't predict by how long...but thought it would be substantial. He believed in letting owners know the more realistic side of things where some vets seem to be un-easy about telling owners what to expect.

I dearly dearly hope I am wrong in regards to your dog, but I think you might have another very frank talk with your vet, try to find out what exactly the damage was done by the poison and see what if anything can be done to help in recovery or in feeding the dog and stuff like that. His stomach is probably going to be pretty sensitive to dry kibble...at least that was how it was with my friend's dog, Nick.

Sorry you are going through this with your dog.

Stormy
 

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The EPA banned anticoagulant poisons for home use a few years ago. There are still some floating around but when you buy new, most are now either cholecalciferol (sorta vitamin D) or one of a number of neurotoxins. I *think* Tomcat contains the neurotoxin but I don't know if they make more than one product.

Do you know what the active ingredient was? Either type could cause permanent neurologic damage but what you might be able to do about it differs between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks so much for the info, Stormy.

The vet told us that there was no internal bleeding or hemorrhaging. I looked up information on the brand of rat poison and it says on there that it is not the type to cause clotting but that the pet can lose the ability to use its back legs which is what happened. The brand of poison is Tomcat Rat Poison I. They treated him with a steroid until he was responsive again. The only thing they didn't mention was if the effects of the poison would be permanent or come to pass.

As for the ingredients the bag says that it is not an anticoagulant and contains the nerve poison bromethalin.

Unfortunately, I am preparing for the worst case scenario. If it has to go down that road then I will make whatever time he has with us the most comfortable for him.
 

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I'm so sorry that happened to your dog and I hope he can make a full recovery. Here's some articles on Bromethalin poisoning in dogs. Did they induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal?

Rat Poisoning in Dogs | petMD
Bromethalin: The New Rodenticide That Can Kill Your Pet
Bromethalin: Rodenticide Poisoning: Merck Veterinary Manual

If I'm understanding what I'm reading your boy can fully recover but it may take weeks for him to do so. I really hope that he's over the worst of the poisoning and on the road to recovery.
 

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Thanks Rain! So do I. We didn't induce vomiting because he was well ahead of us in the department. He had thrown up several times out in the yard without us actually knowing until he was at the vet. He threw up several more time while at the vet also and was induced there. The actual poison he ate was completely thrown up in the yard and the rest of what he was vomiting was clear fluid. There was never any blood or discoloration in his urine or feces and they told us he wasn't bleeding internally.

Right after I posted the original post he started to act up a lot more. He would not stop pacing and walking the same path around the room and it got to the point where he was actually head pressing against the corner of the room and crying. It broke my heart so I immediately called our vet and he will be taken to emergency again early in the morning. My pup is currently sleeping at the moment. After all the walking and crying he tired himself out and went to sleep.

I would love nothing more than to take him right this second but I've already spent almost $2,000 for his first visit and don't have any funds to use on an outside vet seeing as his regular veterinarian is a family friend.

I'm almost certain that his nervous system is getting the worst of it.
 

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Thanks Rain! So do I. We didn't induce vomiting because he was well ahead of us in the department. He had thrown up several times out in the yard without us actually knowing until he was at the vet. He threw up several more time while at the vet also and was induced there. The actual poison he ate was completely thrown up in the yard and the rest of what he was vomiting was clear fluid. There was never any blood or discoloration in his urine or feces and they told us he wasn't bleeding internally.

Right after I posted the original post he started to act up a lot more. He would not stop pacing and walking the same path around the room and it got to the point where he was actually head pressing against the corner of the room and crying. It broke my heart so I immediately called our vet and he will be taken to emergency again early in the morning. My pup is currently sleeping at the moment. After all the walking and crying he tired himself out and went to sleep.

I would love nothing more than to take him right this second but I've already spent almost $2,000 for his first visit and don't have any funds to use on an outside vet seeing as his regular veterinarian is a family friend.

I'm almost certain that his nervous system is getting the worst of it.
I'm so sorry he's not doing better. Hopefully the vet can give you something to help with the symptoms he's having and keep him more comfortable as he recovers.
 

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I have high hopes that he'll make it out okay! There's not much I can do now except offer him liquids and a loving voice when he starts to pace again. Thank you all for the information! It gave me a little more hope.
 

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Some meds can make dogs have strange reactions too. ?maybe the poison and treatments might be doing something similar as what happened with my sister's dog?

My sister had an older dog, who had to be put on morphine one time. She (the dog, not my sis) reacted to it in a pretty bad way. The dog, whined and also had a whining almost barking sound for almost 48 hours. The vet assured my sis that sometimes things like that happen and giving any more drugs wouldn't be a good idea until the dog worked the morphine out of her system.

But, around 2 am., my sister called me crying, she just couldn't stand the sound of her dog whining and appearing to be in distress...so I went to her home and took the dog into the living room while my sister was able to get some sleep in the back bedroom. Hearing a dog do that for hours on end and not be able to help it, is distressing...but again, our vet assured us that the dog wasn't doing it out of pain, and probably wasn't even quite aware that it was vocalizing...as most often she was laying down and not pacing...which she did sometimes.

Anyway, sure enough about 48 hours the whining stopped, the dog woke up and seemed fine like nothing happened. I've also talked to people who have come out of surgery and acted Very weird...talking and rambling on and seeing things not there...then not remember any of that after the drugs are out of their system...and are surprised when people tell them how they behaved.

I hope with your dog that the distress it's showing is of the kind I mentioned above...that it isn't as bad mentally on him as it appears to you. Hopefully you vet can help clarify that with you to....pain does show up in ways a lot of vets can detect...tightness in muscles, etc... So again, hopefully this is something your dog is doing but not really aware that he's doing it and the issue will clear up soon.

Stormy
 

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Actually that does sound similar to what Petey (my pup) is doing. He'll start vocalizing but when I call his name he looks at me as if nothing had happened. This morning he woke up early and was sitting up on his bed waiting for me to get up. The doctor is checking him now for further research and HOPEFULLY can shed more light into the issue. After reading your guys' messages and researching on my own I came to the conclusion that it can possibly be the aftereffects of the treatment and the poison leaving his body.

Also, he still tries to play with my other dog (who missed Petey terribly) but just at a slower pace. I will update you all when the doctor tells us something.
 

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I have a friend who had a retriever mix in high school that got into rat poison. They had to go through the whole emergency vet procedure to save her, but she was never physically the same afterwards. Mentally she was her same bouncy self, and her front legs functioned just fine. However, she had some sort of partial paralysis in her hind legs so they didn't work like they were supposed to. She got around ok, but instead of walking on her paw pads like normal her toes sort of curled under so she was walking on her knuckles. It was rough for awhile, but callouses formed and she'd get around.

She never fully recovered, but lived for several more years with no major issues. She may very well still be alive, but when my friend's dad moved away he gave her to a friend of his. He was definitely not the shining star of care in the animal world, unfortunately. I do hope that your pup makes a full recovery, but there can be long lasting effects from the poison. The degree of damage may vary from dog to dog and depend on the type of poison, actions taken after, amount consumed, etc.
 

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Yeah, the poison said that it affects the animals hind legs and that's exactly what my pup has. He walks around okay but you can tell he supports himself a little more on his front legs and his back legs only lightly touch the ground. I am expecting some sort of lasting effect from the chemical he ingested but the doctor just gave him some shots to help relieve more of the excess fluid from around his brain and advised us to keep him somewhere outdoors but still nearby because he will be urinating a lot. He's got another appointment on Tuesday for a followup and possibly more medication if he's still acting goofy. Unfortunately there's not much else I can do about his coughing and whining fits because the poison is still emptying out of his body.

But, as always, I have high hopes for an easy recovery. Paws crossed!

I'll provide more updates as time goes on. Thank you all!
 

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I had a pit bull who got into rat poison when she was about 1 year old. I saw her eat it so I induced vomiting and got her to the vet where they gave her an antidote. She recovered just fine, until she was put down at almost 4 years old. She was fine one day then slowly started acting odd, we took her to the vet, ear infection was diagnosed she got worse lymph nodes swelling, took her back gave us steroids, still didn't help within 2 weeks and 900$ later she started twitching and couldn't stand vet said she had brain cancer ( they saw a small tumor in her ear) that they believed had spread and all this happened within 2 weeks of her being just perfectly healthy
 

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Just a quick update:

It's been about three days since Petey started aggressive treatment and things seem to be looking a little better everyday. He is no longer shaking uncontrollably and has started to slowly break out of the pacing in circles pattern. He still walks around with his tail down but now it's not in circles or in one place. He explores the yard little by little and he hasn't stopped in any corners. His head pressing is gone and he eats and drinks regularly and by himself. There's no more whimpering and when he stands still to eat or drink he doesn't tip forward head first anymore but instead stands firmly on all four legs. He does still use his hind legs awkwardly but doesn't trip over himself. The only time he gets a little "drunk" is when he's sleepy and walks around for a short period. Petey's also becoming vocal in the mornings when he wants to be let out into the yard with my other dog and starts to give warning when he needs to relieve himself. Like I said, every morning he wakes up just a bit better and everyone's starting to see the pup he was before this unfortunate event.

Thanks to everyone who provided information and well wishes! I'll make sure to post some photo's of him very soon!
 
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