Animals most affected
Cats, dogs, game animals (rabbits, hares), game
birds, wild birds, poultry, pigs and wild mammals.
Accidental ingestion of rodenticide bait
- cereals, milled corn, flour-based pellets,
meal, etc., containing 50-250 mg/kg, dependent upon the
nature and mode of action of the active principle;
- dusting powder (0.2-0.75%), oily paste
concentrates (0.25-1.0%), powder for incorporating
into baits (0.5%).
Poisoning with criminal intent may involve many
different baits to which the anticoagulant concentrates or
powders have been added. The main groups of animals targeted are
dogs, occasionally cats.
Brodifacoum, bromadiolone, chlorophacinone,
coumafen, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, diphacinone.
Acts against vitamin K by blocking the synthesis
of prothrombin, proconvertine, antihaemophilia factor B and
Stuart's factor (PPSB). Toxicity varies according to the
different compounds. For toxic doses, see entries for individual
Clinical features and
Clinical signs of poisoning present 2-10 days
post-ingestion. Haemorrhagic syndrome without specific
In all animals
- subcutaneous and intramuscular, involving limbs and
joints (possibility of exhaustion, partial paralysis),
the thorax and the head,
- pulmonary (coughing, epistaxis, dyspnoea),
- intestinal (haemorrhagic gastroenteritis),
- genito-urinary (haematuria),
- cardiac (haemopericardium),
- meningeal or cerebral bleeding (sudden death with
convulsions, myoclonia, stiffness of the hind quarters),
- anaemia (especially apparent in the final
stages of poisoning),
- hypothermia, dullness, malaise, decubitus;
- deterioration and death within 1-6 days,
or spontaneous remission, which is not a function of the
dose ingested but related to the site of the
- haematological effects:
- increase in the Quick prothrombin time
(closely correlated with the severity of the poisoning,
increase in bleeding and the level of fibrinogen in the
final stages of the poisoning),
- reduced number of erythrocytes, and
The site of the haemorrhaging is specific to
the species of animal.
In dogs and cats
- Subcutaneous tissues (especially if the
animal has surplus fat), lungs, thymus, mediastinum
(haemothorax, epistaxis, coughing), in the renal area
(haemoperitoneum), bladder (peritoneal aspect).
- Subcutaneous tissues and limb joints.
- Subcutaneous tissues, muscles attached to
the breast bone, ovaries.
- Subcutaneous tissues, muscles of the
limbs, intestine and caecum (haemorrhagic enteritis),
- initial dose: iv 2-5 mg/kg. Today
the risk of anaphylactic shock is much reduced because
the antidote is now administered in physiological saline.
(Previously the adverse reactions were due to a
particular substance in the natural excipient which
improved preparations do not contam.) Advantages: takes
effect immediately with the Quick time returning to
normal within 20-60 minutes in dogs. Intramuscular and
subcutaneous routes of administration are not recommended
as there is a risk of haematoma formation, as well as the
treatment being slow to take effect. Repeat the dose at
12 - hourly intervals, if necessary;
- maintenance dose: 1-5 mg/kg per day orally
for 15-30 days (for specific information, see individual
Note: the use of vitamin K3 is not
reconunended as it is considerably less active and less effective
than vitamin K1;
- PPSB (blood factors: prothrombin +
proconvertine + Stuart's factor + antihaemophilic factor
B): 0.2-1 mi/kg iv. This is very effective, but expensive
and difficult to obtain (mainly from blood transfusion
- blood transfusions: 20 mI/kg of fresh
blood (with citrate added), in association with vitamin
- oxygen therapy;
- cardiorespiratory stimulants;
- antibiotics during the period of
resorption of any haematomas;
- keep the animal quiet in a warm place, and
handle with care.
- samples of liver, kidney;
- suspected bait.