West Lothian specialist vets save life of dog who ingested rat poison

A pet dog who swallowed rat poison was saved by a specialist vet at a clinic in Livingston.

Bramble, a two-year-old cocker spaniel, was referred to Veterinary Specialists Scotland (VSS) as an emergency case after local vets identified blood in her chest cavity.

She was weak and unresponsive when she was seen by VSS internal medicine specialist Nicki Reed, who quickly made an inspired call based on extremely limited information.

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While her owners were not aware of Bramble ingesting anything unusual, Ms Reed suspected that rat poison was to blame.

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The pup had lost around a third of her blood volume, so she was given an infusion to replace this. Ms Reed also gave her a vitamin K injection, to undo the damage done by the poison, and then prescribed a course of vitamin K tablets.

Bramble was discharged 48 hours later, much to the relief of her grateful owners.

Nicki’s expert analysis was confirmed days later when laboratory tests confirmed the dog had indeed ingested rat poison.

Bramble, a two-year-old cocker spaniel, underwent life-saving treatment for rat poisoning at Linnaeus-owned Veterinary Specialists Scotland, in Livingston

Nicki said: “Bramble was referred as an emergency after her local vets had identified blood within her chest cavity.

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“In total, 500ml of blood had been drained, around a third of her total blood volume, so it was not surprising she was very weak and anaemic.

“Bramble received a transfusion of red blood cells and then a plasma transfusion, as I suspected the bleeding was due to ingestion of rat bait, even though her owners were not aware of any incident.

“Rat baits of the Warfarin and Coumarin family cause bleeding by depleting the blood of Vitamin K, so the plasma transfusion was to help the blood clot while Vitamin K was given by injection to replace the depleted levels.

“Bramble became much livelier and happier over the next 48 hours and was allowed home on a course of Vitamin K tablets and has now made a full recovery.”

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VSS is a specialist-led multidisciplinary referral centre based in Livingston, offering industry-leading services in cardiology, dermatology, internal medicine (feline and canine), neurology, orthopaedics, and soft tissue surgery, supported by specialists in diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia and analgesia.