Monday, 11 March 2013

A Peppa update - a rat poison story

The other day I posted about Peppa.  After we brought him home from the vet and explained the diagnosis to the family, my Dad commented "that's what you get for eating rat poison".  So apparently a few days earlier he had consumed a considerable amount of rat poison.  My Dad had left the poison up on a ledge thinking this elderly man couldn't get up there.  Boy was he wrong.

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

23 comments:

  1. OMGAWD I can't even start to imagine what I would decide to do. :( I'm so glad that your Dad changed his mind. I was in two minds about asking about this for Snowy as she was so sick, skinny and just losing her mind. Poor boy.

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    1. Yeah it's tough. I mean he is SO old but despite his age he doesn't have anything seriously wrong with him. Definitely nothing bad enough to warrant being put down.

      Anyway expensive lesson learnt. No more rat poison!

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  2. Wow!! I read your last post about Peppa and thought how lucky he was that it wasnt something serious. And now this! He's one lucky doggy. He must be a strong little boy. You are so lucky to have had him so long.

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    1. Aww thanks so much for your kind words. He's amazingly resilient this boy. So old but is still in good condition.

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  3. Aww my god Kay, we've had to to the 24 hour mad vet dash with one of our dogs before and it's very scary!! Wow so so lucky, great to hear he is doing well now :)

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    1. Thanks Nat, it's absolutely terrifying isn't it?

      Hope your dog was ok after the midnight dash xx

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  4. Oh noooooooooo! Poor Peppa!! Is peppa now OKAY? :( It's so sad when Doggies are sick!! And VERY lucky indeed!

    That last photo is so adorable.

    - KK x

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    1. He's ok now but so lucky. What a silly dog for ingesting rat poison!

      I know right, he's totally adorable.

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  5. Oh no! I had to skip to the end and make sure it wasn't a sad ending before I read the whole post.. I hope he is doing better today. Give him a big cuddle for me.

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    1. Thanks Stace, I've been giving him loads of cuddles lately so the next one will be from you :)

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  6. Awww poor Peppa. Glad hes ok!

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  7. What an ordeal it must have been for you, your family and poor peppa! He looks adorable, so glad he's ok now.

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    1. It was really gut-wrenching. The night I got home from the midnight vet dash it was 4am. Then my body jolted myself away at 8.30am the following morning, worrying about him. Very nervous few days but I'm SO relieved he's at home now and back to his usual self (snooping through bins trying to find food scraps my family has thrown away haha).

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  8. Am glad your dad changed his mind, because really, with the extreme life of extravagence you lead, you could have easily made the decision to help Peppa financially and keep him alive, instead of buying more shoes/clothes etc!

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    1. Righto Regina George, settle down.

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    2. Hahahhaha Jo I can't believe I had to google Regina George. I've watched that movie so many times!!

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    1. Thanks hun. I think he's very handsome :)

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  10. Sorry to hear about it. Rat poison. That's so scary! Another silky owner here, mine is just a puppy so I'm glad to hear that silkies can live a long life. Peppa doesn't look his age at all :)

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    1. Hehe Peppa doesn't even act his age either - still bouncing around as if he's NOT 18 :)

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  11. Thank you for posting this. I am going thru this with my little dog right now too...and she's 11. If it weren't for your pics, I might not have known and lost her!

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    1. Oh my gosh I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. I posted about this because I wanted people to know about it in case it happened to them. I'm so glad you found this post and were able to do something for your little doggie. I hope she's ok now?? Is she taking Vitamin K? Please let me know!!

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