I've learnt a lot about rat poison in the last few days so let me share with you (if you're not interested, scroll down). Rat poison has warfarin in it which thins the blood and prevents it from clotting. A certain form of warfarin can be ingested by humans (mainly elderly) to help thin their blood (if they are prone to blood clots) but there are side effects. Skin becomes quite thin and prone to splitting, so if a human taking warfarin bumps their knee and knocks something they will get a pretty nasty gash. Because the blood is thinner than normal and doesn't have clotting agents, their wounds bleed constantly and it takes a while to stop. The doses humans take are strictly controlled but the doses in rat poison are lethal enough to kill rodents. It has been known to kill smaller dogs and at the age of 17, Peppa isn't the fighting fit dog he used to be. He is very very very lucky.
So the rat poison explains why he had blood on his eye and why his mouth was gushing blood from a single wobbly tooth. Because I wasn't alerted to the fact he had consumed rat poison til after we returned, I never mentioned it to the vet.
But since his emergency vet visit on Thursday, I've been 10x more affectionate with him and paying him my undivided attention. On Saturday night I was over at my parents and patting Peppa as usual. He lay on his side and I thought I would try scratch his tummy. Peppa has been too old to roll onto his back to have his tummy scratched so I tried to scratch it from the side. I noticed a dark purple spot on his tummy so slowly rolled him onto his back and got the shock of my life. He had a nasty-looking dark purple, almost black patch covering part of his stomach and his entire back left leg.
We rushed him to a 24-hour vet at midnight and anxiously waited for the vet to see him. We explained the rat poison incident and instantly the vet agreed. The purple/black patch on his stomach signified massive internal bleeding. If it looked this bad on the outside, how bad would it be on the inside?? Rat poison has a delayed effect which is why the internal bleeding didn't happen til a week after he ingested it. The vet agreed it was pretty bad and explained the procedure to us. He would need a plasma infusion to re-introduce blood clotting to his body, and then a drip of Vitamin K over a period of 4 weeks which assists in blood coagulation. The price was $3K and upwards depending on whether he needed an additional plasma infusion or needed to spend extra days at animal hospital. For a dog of 17 years, the answer for my Dad was quite clear: euthanasia.
My sisters and I started bawling our eyes out for a good hour, waiting for my parents to arrive at the clinic. Once they arrived, Peppa was so excited to see my Mum that he was wagging his tail like crazy - something he rarely does these days and definitely not something he does when he's at the vet. When my parents saw that they had a change of heart and decided to do the plasma infusion. All that crying and saying goodbye for nothing. We were SO relieved.
The next day we went to the animal hospital to visit the little guy. He had the cutest bandages on his paws and seemed in a brighter mood. The angry patch on his tummy had lightened to a medium pink. We spent an hour or so with him and then left as he needed to spend an additional day at hospital so they could monitor him. I am leaving now to pick him up and take him home - super excited.
|I might be biased but I think he's super handsome|