Age: 9 years
Breed: Collie Mix
Lucky is a 9 year old black and white Collie mix. Her devoted owners knew she was in need of Urgent Care, and brought her to Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center. Lucky hadn't eaten, was vomiting, very lethargic and unable to walk. And she seemed to be getting worse quickly as she was starting to have local seizures. Dr. Cesar Vega and his team at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center immediately started supportive treatment, and ran bloodwork to try and determine the source of Lucky's symptoms.
Dr Vega suspected Lucky had neurotoxin poisoning, and he urged Lucky's owners to check their garage and around the house to see if anything was out of place or unusual. There are several toxins that can cause neurologic symptoms, and knowing which toxin Lucky had ingested would give Dr Vega and his team the best chance at saving Lucky's life. Lucky's owners went home and searched, and found the chewed-up package of Bromethalin Rat Bait in the garage.
Bromethalin is a common ingredient in Rat Bait. Symptoms of ingestion may include weakness, muscle tremors, seizures, and depressed nervous symptoms due to inhibited brain activity (low heart rate and respiratory rate, loss of consciousness) possibly leading to coma or death. Unfortunately there is no cure for Bromethalin poisoning; treatment involves ridding the body of as much of the consumed rat bait as possible, and administering activated charcoal to help absorb the rest, followed by supportive nursing care until the body is able to flush the toxin from their system. Fortunately Lucky's vomiting and diarrhea had helped removed some of the poison from her stomach, and now that Dr Vega had a diagnosis, his team focused on supportive care for Lucky.
Lucky's owners were determined to fight for her. After spending 6 intense days in the hospital, Lucky had improved enough to be discharged with continued care at home. She still had a feeding tube and required close monitoring, medication, and exercises to help her regain movement. With her owners' love, devotion, and unwillingness to give up, Lucky continued to make progress at home and ultimately made a full recovery.
Bromethalin is a serious toxic substance. If you have a rat problem, consider other pet-safe alternatives to Bromethalin poison. And if you do decide to keep it in your home, be sure it is safely kept out of reach. Lucky certainly lived up to her name, and we are thrilled she is at home enjoying life with her devoted owners!