Winter time is a time when poison is put out to kill rats and mice and the following story illustrates the need to be extremely careful if there are dogs in the immediate area. It’s also very important to store poison securely so that dogs can’t get at containers that contain rat poison.
This is Jasper, a working sheepdog who loves his work. Recently he was brought to the clinic when he vomited blood after herding. Even though he had done his job he was also obviously out of sorts and seemed weak. The vet examined him and found evidence of anaemia or low blood count. Because he was a young dog the first possible cause that came to mind was rat poison. Rat poison is a variant of warfarin and causes internal bleeding. The owner said that he had rat poison down alright but that he had put it in pipes and there was no way the dog could get at it. Even so, because his clotting time was slow, we treated Jasper for warfarin poisoning and asked the owner to go home and see if he could find any evidence that he could have got at any stored poison.
The owner rang back to say that the dog had got at some of the stored poison that had been put in a sealed plastic container up on a shelf in the shed. He was stunned and shocked that he could have found it where it was.
The story had a happy ending and Jasper made a quick recovery. He is now home with his family and back at his work.
This is the second case we have had in the last 2 months