Cody’s Curious Case: What Caused This Pup’s Close Call?

This month, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC)’s Case of the Month takes a look into Cody, a one-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was not feeling himself one day. See how Cody’s symptoms lead to concern and how APCC helped in a scary situation. 

On December 12, 2020, at 5:00 PM, Cody’s pet parents notice he has a blue-colored bowel movement and that he won’t really eat or drink. By 11:00 AM the following morning, Cody becomes noticeably lethargic, his eyes turn blood shot and he is experiencing diarrhea. 

An hour and 15 minutes later, Cody’s pet parents come to the realization that the blue color may be related to the rodenticide they recently placed around their property. Concerned for their beloved pet’s well-being, they quickly contact APCC for guidance. 

Through a series of questions, APCC staff are able to confirm that Cody’s symptoms fit with an exposure to the rodenticide in the home. Dogs are attracted to rodenticide in the same way that rodents are, as they both are interested in the smell and taste of the poison. These types of poisonings in pets are often seen in the fall and winter months.  They inform Cody’s pet parents that they need to seek immediate veterinary intervention. 

A little under an hour later, Cody and his pet parents arrive at the emergency veterinary clinic. The veterinarian evaluates Cody and  a blood test confirms that his body has lost the ability to clot its blood. Without treatment, Cody could internally bleed and die. Urgently, the veterinarian reaches out to APCC and a treatment plan is set in motion. 

Overnight, Cody receives a lifesaving plasma transfusion and starts on a medication to help him clot his blood. 

At 10:35 AM the following morning, Cody’s veterinarian reaches back out to APCC to discuss the treatment plan. Cody is stable and the goal is to continue his medication and recheck his blood tests so that he can go home. 

Three hours later, and after some additional discussion with APCC, Cody’s veterinarian determines that he can be discharged and monitored at home. 

Two days later, Cody returns to the clinic to have his blood tests rechecked and they were all normal! Cody remains on his medicine but is well on his way to recovery. 

Through the teamwork of Cody’s pet parents, his veterinarian and the staff at APCC, Cody’s life was saved, and his pet parents could love him for many more days to come. 

Dr. Tina Wismer, APCC Senior Director, reminds pet parents that, “The use of rat and mouse poisons increase in cooler weather as rodents seek shelter from lower temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets, and if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, please do so with extreme caution and keep them in places inaccessible to your pets.”  

If you believe that your pet may have ingested rodenticide or another potentially toxic substance, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately for assistance. 

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