Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bromethalin Poisoning

Norwich, VT and Hanover, NH your hometown emergency veterinarian

I just celebrated my 3rd birthday! Another year older... another year wiser?

I'm a dog, that much is true.... but are we really inferior? You humans make life so complicated. Always having to make things bigger and better, easier and quicker, cheaper and longer lasting. Sometimes old-fashioned may work as well or even better. Has anyone heard of mousetraps?

In 2008 the the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency prohibited the production of long-acting anticoagulants (stops the blood from clotting, a very necessary thing for staying alive) in rodenticides (rat and mole poisonings for example) used residential. They wanted to make these products safer for children, pets and wildlife. In doing so they have created a product that might contain Bromethalin, a neurotoxin that acts on the brain instead of the blood. The onset of poisoning is much faster (withing two to twenty-four hours) unlike traditional anticoagulants where bleeding didn't typically occur for up to a week after ingestion. Because of the rapid onset and (this is a big one) no antidote, accidental poisoning is deadly. Their is also no test to diagnose that your pet has eaten this!!

Traditional rodenticides were never "just a walk in the park". The difference is that if your veterinarian suspects poisoning they can administer long term Vitamin K and reverse the blood clotting deficiencies caused by the poison. If your pet starts showing signs of poisoning (bleeding from the nose is a common sighting) veterinarians can still typically save them with intensive medical support. Not the case with Bromethalin.

If you see your pet eat a Bromethalin product call your veterinarian immediately. They will want to see your pet as quickly as you can get to the hospital. Bring the package with you (this is the case with any poisoning, always bring the packaging). Because the poison is directed towards the brain, your pet will start to show signs of excitability or depression, changes in behavior, dizziness, uncoordinated movement, seizures, eventually coma and death.

So what now? Stay away from any products with Bromethalin in them such as Talpirid Bait, Fastrac, and Gladiator brands. Read your labels! If you have to use these products stick with d-Con, this company has refused to comply with the EPA and are still producing anticoagulant products currently. 

Until the EPA revisits this product with no known antidote, steer clear! This stuff is deadly.