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Mouse Bait Poisoning:  Deadly D-Con

This 10 week old Yorkie puppy, named Lucky, came to Alpine Animal Clinic on Emergency with his littermate, Pepper.  Both puppies exhibited rapid, labored breathing, and both were shaking and very weak.


Two days earlier, their owner found the puppies sharing a dead mouse they had found in the yard. The owner took the remains of the mouse carcass away from the puppies, and tossed it in the garbage.  Their owner did not realize that both her new dogs had now been poisoned.

D-Con and related types of mouse poisons and baits can take up to 48 hours for symptoms to begin.  However, once symptoms begin, they progress very rapidly and become fatal quickly.  Emergency treatment is critical to save these patients!

Dr. Heidi Wampler holds Lucky after he survived D-Con poisoning.

Fortunately for Lucky, he was at an earlier stage of the poisoning, and perhaps had less poison than Pepper, and he responded to emergency treatment. Dr. Wampler administered a life-saving blood transfusion immediately upon his arrival, along with injections of vitamin K1 to counteract the effects of the poison. Lucky simultaneously received aggressive iv fluids to increase his blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular collapse while his blood transfusion provided him with critical red blood cells, platelets, and clotting factors to save his life.


Lucky was discharged from Alpine Animal Clinic a few days later and has gone on to do very well.   


Click here to learn more about D-con, Tom Cat mouse poison, Just One Bite mouse poison, and other forms of mouse and rat poison.

Pepper, Lucky's brother, was the first to show symptoms of weakness and rapid breathing.  Pepper's mom brought him in to Alpine Animal Clinic, and Dr. Wampler could see Pepper was the later stages of poisoning when he arrived.  


Upon arrival at Alpine Animal Clinic, Pepper was hemorrhaging rapidly in to his lungs and chest, as well in to other body areas.  Pepper was in advanced hemorrhagic shock.  Sadly, Pepper was so critical that aggressive treatment could not save him and he died a short while later from cardiovascular collapse.


Pepper's owner quickly returned home to find Lucky, Pepper's brother, beginning to breathe rapidly, too, so raced back to Alpine with Lucky for emergency treatment. 

Lucky continues recieving a blood transfusion, and now he is out of the ICU machine.

Lucky receives a life-saving Blood Transfusion while also getting treatments of Vitamin K1 to counteract the poison.  


Lucky initially required Oxygen Therapy in the Intensive Care Unit machine and careful warming controlled in the ICU unit to counteract the shock.  


Eventually, Lucky was able to be transferred to a regular kennel as he became more stable (shown here).

D-Con and other forms of mouse or rodent poison is a very common accidental poison for dogs and cats. Rodent poison, such as D-Con, tastes good so many dogs will eagerly gobble it up if given the chance.


Many people do not realize it takes up to 2 days for the poison to kill the mouse, allowing a lot of opportunity for the mouse to leave the area and enter places that dogs and cats might find it, either alive or after death from the poison.

Dogs and cats that eat the poisoned mouse also become poisoned and won't show symptoms until they are in a critical veterinary emergency!

Gus donates blood for Lucky.
A blood donation is ready to give to another dog patient.

Large dogs, like Dr. Wampler's Rottweiler, Gus shown here, are good blood donors.  Gus is happy to give his little buddy Lucky a little help!

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