Objective: To determine the effect of gastrointestinal (GI) decontamination on the incidence of prolonged prothrombin time (PT) in dogs after anticoagulant rodenticide ingestion.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: Urban emergency room.
Animals: One hundred and fifty-one client-owned dogs.
Measurements: Dogs presented to the emergency room within 6 hours of ingestion of an anticoagulant rodenticide and had a PT measured within 2–6 days of toxicant ingestion before initiating vitamin K therapy were included. Dogs were categorized as treated or untreated based on the institution of vitamin K therapy following PT testing. The signalment, body weight, type of rodenticide ingested, time elapsed between ingestion and initial presentation, method(s) of GI decontamination, and the times elapsed between both toxicant ingestion and initial hospital presentation until determination of PT were recorded. The PT results were recorded as well as any treatment received following the recheck examination. Any reported incidents of bleeding or untoward effects between exposure and reexamination were recorded.
Main results: Of 151 dogs, only 11 dogs (8.3%) developed prolonged PT requiring vitamin K supplementation. None of the 11 dogs with prolonged PTs exhibited signs of bleeding or required transfusion therapy. No differences in age, weight, or time elapsed between treated and untreated patients were found.
Conclusions: The incidence of prolonged PT is low in dogs receiving GI decontamination within 6 hours of anticoagulant rodenticide ingestion. Delaying vitamin K therapy until a PT has been assessed 48–72 hours after initial exposure appears to be safe and sensitive in dogs following anticoagulant rodenticide ingestion.