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Concerned about my 3,5 yr old great dane

Published on: May 23, 2022 • By: scottymacsd · In Forum: Dogs
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scottymacsd
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May 23, 2022 at 11:36am
Hello, I have a 3.5-year-old Great Dane male named Trooper. I have some concerns about his recent health. First Trooper was wetting himself 4 days ago while sleeping then continued when I got him up to go outside. then again later he continued to leak. then it stopped around the time I gave him a bath later that day. I haven't noticed it again since. But I have seen wet spots before here and there since I’ve had him but this was way more. Then on Friday morning, I was laying with my arm over him and could feel his heart beat. It was not a normal heartbeat rhythm. it would go a few beats then pause one or two beats, so I listened to it with my electronic stethoscope I build years ago. The pattern I heard was similar to the following, 4beats then a pause for a beat, then another 4x then pause, then 3x then pause then 4x and so on. The pause always seemed to happen on the exhale. So, I kept an eye on him but seemed fine. The following morning (Sat.)  I noticed the area under his eyes seemed more pale than usual. so, the three things I mentioned combined started to make me worry.  I called the closest vet which is an hour away and they told me to bring him in at 1:00 which was two hours from when I called, so that was cool. The vet checked him out and told me his eyes were probably irritated from all the dust and is why they looks lighter pink than usual and gave me drops to put on his eyes.  She listened to his heart and said there was no arrhythmia and it sounded normal. Probably because he was more exited and heart rate was up so sounded normal and what I heard might be normal for him at rest. And for the peeing in his sleep, he might just be incontinent and gave me pills for him to start taking every day for now on. And said there was nothing to worry about. I had also let her know he wasn’t eating as much but that isn’t abnormal at times, but he also doesn’t seem to have the energy he usually does. Later yesterday night when discussing this with two friends, they said it doesn’t sound right.  Then, while brain storming, I thought of some other thing that might be in play.  First is that I had put out Tom Cat rat poison that are in a container so can’t access it, but I did catch him sniffing around it and there was rat poop there that a rat who just ate some might have pooped out when leaving the trap. so not sure if he sniffed any up or got some in his mouth.  Also, twice last week he had a mouse in his mouth but let both go. I don't think he  drew blood on them but they could have or even pooped in his mouth. both may have had contact with the poison too. but I can’t tell for sure. The second time I believe was on Tuesday night. which was the night before he had the peeing while sleeping. I have not started giving him the meds or eye drops yet. I am very cautious when it comes to giving him any meds. Plus, they do not help my main concerns since he hasn’t been incontinent since. My concerns are either he has ingested some of the poison or he had a heart problem causing him to be anemic or something that’s slowly making things worse. To any Veterinarian’s reding this do you have. any suggestions on what it may be if anything at all? Please chime in because time is critical if he has been poisoned and we live out off grid in Arizona. Thank you Scott
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
May 23, 2022 at 09:16pm
Hello!  So rat poison obviously shouldn't be ingested and if a dog has definitely consumed a quantity, they could be made to vomit almost immediately before the poison gets absorbed, and / or given drugs / fluids to try to support the body through any effects if too much time has passed. However, in this case it sounds as though you are almost sure that your dog may have been exposed to an extremely small amount.   You have done the right thing in talking this through with your vet and your vet presumably had to make a judgement as to whether supportive treatment would be necessary here.  It sounds as though they have weighed up the facts including the timescales involved and decided against it.  I don't know exactly what went on / was said / recorded in the consultation, but most vets I know would tend to err on the side of caution if they are in doubt, as it is their job to keep your pet safe.  The emergency vet may be prepared to go through this again with you if you have reason to believe that the calculation (or the facts given at the time) were incorrect, or even just for peace of mind. The signs of rat poison depend on the active ingredient and I do not recognise the brand that you name.   If for example, Warfarin is involved, the signs would be consistent with internal bleeding eg a short period of better colour than usual (the spleen contracts to release more red blood cells during early bleeding) followed by white gums.  There may be visible pinpoint haemorrhages on the gums and the blood loss may lead to a reduced circulating blood volume which causes an weaker, faster heart rate, at which stage lethargy can be seen. The effects of rat poisoning can be severe so if you are concerned about the signs at any time, it is always ok to get things checked over again by your emergency vet rather than sit at home worrying. However, it is also possible that Trooper has chronic (ongoing) underlying disease that needs to be looked into, not necessarily connected to the rat-poison concern. Hopefully this gives some insight as to the sort of decision making that may be be going through your emergency vets' mind should you choose to contact them. Best of luck going forward.
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