Rani the German Shepherd's poisonous snack!

Rani is a 6 year old German Shepherd who was brought to the Reservoir Veterinary Clinic as she was unwell at home. Her owner had noticed that she did not seem herself at home, she was lethargic and not her usual happy self. On her way to the vet clinic she vomited in the car.

Upon examination by Dr Raj found that her colour was pale and her temperature was lower than normal. Dr Raj admitted Rani to the hospital ward for a blood test and he also placed her on intravenous fluids. The intravenous fluids would help to support her cardiovascular system as well as re-hydrate her, until the blood results were known. She was also given intravenous antibiotics as Dr Raj was suspecting an infection of some sort. Rani had seemed to have improved after about 1 ½ hours on the intravenous fluid drip, which was a good sign.

The following day Rani's blood results indicated that she was anaemic, which means that she had lowered red blood cells and that her white blood cells were increased. Rani was a puzzling case because there were a number of conditions that could have caused her clinical signs. As Rani is not desexed it was possible that she had a pyometera which is a serious infection of her uterus. She could have also possibly ingested some rat bait as her owner had found a packet from under the house about 1 week before but was not sure if she had eaten any. Rani could have also had a tumour which was causing her to bleed internally.

The following day Rani's anaemia was becoming worse and her platelets which help in clotting her blood were also reduced. Dr Raj also took radiographs of Rani's chest to make sure that there were no masses that could have caused her anaemia. Dr Raj also sent off more blood to the laboratory for more tests and the results were that her blood was taking a prolonged amount of time to clot. From this result it strongly indicated that Rani had quite probably eaten the rat bait. As Rani's anaemia was worsening she required a blood transfusion in order to replace the lost red blood cells.

Rani was referred to an emergency clinic as she required 24 hour observation and monitoring and the emergency clinic was equipped to perform the blood transfusion that she required to replace her lost red blood cells. Rani spent 4 days at the emergency clinic and she remained on an intravenous fluid drip and was medicated with Vitamin K. Vitamin K is the antidote for rat bait poisoning. Rani needs to stay on this medication for 6 weeks to ensure that her body has fully recovered from ingestion of the rat bait.

It has now been 5 weeks since Rani was ill and it is pleasing to see that she has had a trouble free recovery. She has had blood tests every 2 weeks to ensure that her blood clotting is normal and ever time she visits the clinic she is looking better and better.