Tuesday, June 15, 2010

rat poison and lobsters

Yooooo, Doc Oli here (just kidding), but really, S.A.V.E.S. has finally opened and boy has it been an interesting week. I have met some really nice dogs and cats, unfortunately under not the best situations for them. Dog fights, diarrhea (I remember what that was like, no fun), illnesses, you name it cause it is surely around!
I was kidding with my dad and told him his heart rate was high! He takes a joke pretty well!

During the day the doctors do routine surgeries a lot of the time. I met a beautiful lab named Lupine, oh my how I fell in love, though she was an older woman? female?...... and found me a bit irritating.

Wolfgang was crowned as the official first animal in S.A.V.E.S. surgery. He seemed to enjoy the nice comfortable recovery bed! Wow, I can only hope to grow up and look as cool as he does!!!

I learned about something everyone should be aware of. Rat Poison! I guess people use it around their homes and barns to get rid of pesky rats that carry disease and get into everything. The companies that make the poison flavor it so it is yummy, and it is shaped like kibble dog and cat food. Pets can even be poisoned if they eat a rodent that has ingested and died from the poison!
So tell your friends if they buy rat poison, make sure it is one of the anticoagulant varieties. These at least have an antidote (a way of treating you so you don't die if you eat it). D-Con is the most popular I have heard.

So what happens when you eat this stuff? Unfortunately nothing that anyone can see for a while, days or even a week.
To understand how the poison works, you need to understand how your blood clots. All of your blood vessels (veins and arteries) are covered with a special type of cell that helps the blood move through the vessels smoothly. When an injury occurs, these cells are broken revealing the inside cells of the vessel. When blood hits this inside part it triggers your body to respond.
Circulating in your blood stream are things called platelets. These little cells are just waiting to jump into action to clump together and stop blood loss. This is the initial way our body stops all of the blood from running out of it. These platelets only hold for a while on their own, they need something called fibrin to permanently seal and bind the platelets. Lots of things then play into the creation of fibrin, and one of the key ingredients is Vitamin K! This vitamin helps jump start the fibrin production and then it gets recycled in the body for the next injury. Without Vitamin K the process of clotting fails and you again begin to bleed.
So to get back to the original question, how does the poison work? The rat poison (anticoagulant type) stops the body from recycling the Vitamin K. As soon as the Vitamin K supplies are depleted within the body, blood clotting will cease. It takes several days for the supply to be depleted. Now any little bump or bruise or cut....... causes life threatening bleeding.
So the first signs are usually a cold, weak pet with pale mucous membranes (your gums should always be nice and pink). A nose bleed is also common, or bloody stools and urine.
If you suspect your pet has eaten rat poison, try to get him/her to vomit and call your veterinarian right away. The sooner the better because if you catch this early, the treatment is relatively simple. First the vet will give you an injection of Vitamin K, and send you home with Vitamin K tablets to take for a month. That is all there is to it! But the key is finding out right away.....time is of the essence!
This really hit home for me this week. Hoot and I have been working as a team! Hoot hunts the mice, his reward for catching it is eating the front half...... I quickly swallow the back before my mom who is screaming and chasing me around the yard, can pull it out of my mouth!!!
Could be worse, they eat this thing!
TaTa for now!

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