D-Con and other forms of mouse or rodent poison is a very common accidental poison for dogs and cats. Many people do not realize it takes up to 2 days for the poison to kill the mouse, allowing a lot of opportunity for the mouse to leave the area and enter places that dogs and cats might find it, either alive or after death from the poison.
Dogs and cats that eat the poisoned mouse also become poisoned and won't show symptoms until they are in a critical vet emergency! Rodent poison, such as D-Con, tastes good so many dogs will eagerly gobble it up if given the chance.
This 10 week old Yorkie puppy, named Lucky, came to Alpine Animal Clinic with his littermate, Pepper, after sharing a dead mouse they had found 2 days earlier in the yard. The owner took the remains of the mouse carcass away from the puppies, and tossed it in the garbage without realizing her 2 new dogs had now also been poisoned.
Pepper was the first to show symptoms of weakness and rapid breathing. His owner brought him in to Alpine Animal Clinic but he was in critical condition when he arrived, hemorrhaging rapidly in to his lungs and chest and was in hemorrhagic shock. His owner returned home to find Lucky, Pepper's brother, beginning to breathe rapidly, too. Lucky was also brought in to the clinic for emergency treatment, but unfortunately Pepper was so critical by that time that aggressive treatment could not save him and he died a short while later.
Fortunately for Lucky, he was at an earlier stage of the poisoning and perhaps had less poison than Pepper and he responded to emergency treatment. Dr. Wampler administered a life-saving blood transfusion immediately upon his arrival, along with injections of vitamin K1 to counteract the effects of the poison. Lucky simultaneously received aggressive iv fluids to increase his blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular collapse while his blood transfusion provided him with critical red blood cells, platelets, and clotting factors to save his life.
Lucky is shown here, with Dr. Heidi Wampler, after he was much more stable and able to hold up his head on his own. He was discharged from the hospital a few days later and has gone on to do very well.
A safer method of rodent control might be live traps or, perhaps, sticky traps to prevent accidental poisoning to other animals. Click here to view a video of an easy-to-use live trap.