On Monday morning I spayed a very sweet puppy named Fluffy. The surgery was routine and Fluffy recovered well from the procedure. By mid afternoon, she was alert, her tail was wagging and she was hungry. The only slightly unusual thing was a bit of bloody fluid seeping from her incision throughout the afternoon. This is not an entirely unusual occurrence. She was discharged that afternoon. Tuesday, the day after surgery, we called to check on Fluffy. She was active, alert and eating well. Her incision was still oozing and she was also bleeding from her vulva. This is not normal. The owner was unable to bring her to the clinic that day. The next day Fluffy was still bleeding and she was becoming weak and inactive. She was admitted to the clinic. She had a very low red blood cell count and was bleeding from the spay incision and from her vulva. Her blood was not clotting. This can be caused by ingestion of rodent poison but there was no such poison at her home and she was closely supervised when outdoors. Another possible cause was an inherited clotting defect. In this case she needed a blood transfusion and this was not available. We treated her for all possible causes within the owners financial means. She continued to bleed. Wednesday evening we got a message from the owner that rat poison had been put out in the home a week ago. We had our diagnosis. We had already started treatment for this possibility. Sadly, everyone’s efforts were just a bit too late and dear little Fuffy passed that evening.
I tell this very sad story to remind everyone that rodent poison ie. rat bait is extremely toxic to pets. It is made to attract rodents with a good smell and taste. It also smells and tastes good to dogs and cats. Your pet will look for it and dig it out of its hiding place. These poisons are very potent and work quickly so immediate treatment is needed and can be very successful. Do not put rodent poison anywhere that a pet can get it and if a pet is exposed contact your veterinarian immediately.