Pet Owners: Beware of the Different Ingredients of Available Rodenticides

lower_boxesThis is the time of year when mice start looking for a warm place to winter and people start using rodenticides to stop them from coming into their homes. Infrequently, pets may eat the mouse or rat poison. If you have a pet and must use rodenticides, you need to beware of the different, safer options available for pet owners.The Veterinary Hospital Association recently sent us this bulletin:

Many of you know a neighbor or friend with a pet that ingested rat poising. They took their pet to the Veterinarian and after a lengthy hospital stay and extensive medical treatment the pet was released. This will not be the case anymore.

There are new rodenticides on the market that affect pets differently and unless the pet owner sees the animal ingest it, it may be too late for treatment by the time the animal appears sick.

In 2008 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a decision prohibiting the use of second-generation or long-acting anticoagulants (d-Con) in residential settings. It was an effort to reduce secondary poisoning in wildlife due to bioaccumulation in the livers of predators. Manufacturers became compliant with these new regulations in 2011, with many using bromethalin instead of anticoagulants in their products. There is no test to detect bromethalins presence-and no antidote.

Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and assistant director of veterinary services for Pet Poison Helpline reports that the rapid onset of bromethalin poisoning leaves veterinarians little time for error. “The symptoms come on faster and it’s harder to treat,” Brutlag says. With anticoagulant poisoning, veterinarians had three to five days before bleeding began–maybe a week before death. But with bromethalin, clinical signs associated with CNS edema may be seen within 2 to 24 hours. Once the animal starts showing neurological signs– CNS stimulation or depression, abnormal behavior, ataxia, hyperesthesia, seizures, coma–successful treatment becomes more difficult and more expensive. An animal may have only a couple of days before succumbing.

The Pet Poison Helpline and d-Con both cite the dangers of using a toxin with no known antidote as reason for the EPA to revisit the 2008 regulation standards. Thus far, the regulation has not changed  and On May 30th 2014, the manufacturer of d-CON announced that they  will comply with EPA mandates by replacing brodifacoum with diphacinone, a first generation anticoagulant. While many first generation anticoagulants, such as the prototype warfarin, are shorter acting, diphacinone is not. This is a good thing. It gives your Veterinarian more time to treat before irreversible damage occurs.

If you HAVE to use a rodenticide, look for one with the active ingredient diphacinone and keep it out of the reach of your pets.

Referenced from DVM360, January 2013 and The Pet Poison Hotline, Published on June 23, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BART Fundraising Dog Duathlon on September 13th


There is a people and dog duathlon in New Brighton on September 13 for those of you who like to run (and swim) with your dogs. It is a fundraiser for BART, the Basic Animal Rescue Training organization. BART is a group of volunteers that train first responders in how to take care of animals encountered in emergency situations. Good people, good stuff.

Learn more about the organization here and the duathalon here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr. Fleming at the Fair

Dr. Pierce Fleming will be moderating the spay and neuter surgery suite on Thursday August 28th at 2:00 pm and 4:00pm. The surgery suite is located in the Pet Center building.  Stop on by and say Hi.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CIRD, aka Kennel Cough

“Kennel Cough” has been the widely used term for the common cold of dogs. It’s official name is now Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease or CIRD. In the last few months we have seen an increasing number of coughing dogs coming to our clinic. This is apparently a new strain of an upper respiratory virus that has become widespread this winter and spring and one that our vaccines may not prevent. This CIRD appears to be moderately contagious and is primarily spread by exposure to other coughing dogs. Highest exposure risk is where multiple dogs associate with one another like dog parks and kennels.  Typically, there is an incubation time from 5-7 days from exposure to the virus before the onset of the clinical signs of which a dry, hacking cough is the most obvious. In the average dog, the disease runs it’s course in a weeks time. To learn more about this disease, visit this page of

Our staff is always watching for any coughing or unhealthy dogs in our facility but despite our vigilance, dogs may come into our facility incubating the virus and showing no clinical signs until after they have been in the kennel for a couple days. Up to now we have dodged that bullet and kept the virus out our facility. But recently we have learned of a few of cases of coughing dogs who do appear have been exposed to it in our kennel.

We are doing everything in our power to minimize risk to our boarders, day care dogs and canine hospital patients. This includes increased cleaning and disinfecting of the environment, runs, floors, bowls, toys, etc. As soon as any coughing dogs are identified or even suspected they will necessarily be isolated from the other dogs to minimize their risk of exposure. We cannot board or hospitalize any coughing dogs, even if they may have caught that virus in our kennel. The only way we can get rid of this virus from our facility is to keep coughing dogs out of the kennel. We appreciate and regret any hardship this may cause our clients and hope this issue can be resolved very soon. But because so many dogs are now affected by this virus, this CIRD could be around for a while. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. Please call our clinic with any other questions or concerns you may have.

Posted in Clinic News | Leave a comment

Drop off sites for unneeded prescription drugs


There was an article in the paper recently regarding drop off sites for prescription drugs. It said Hennepin County collected 7 tons of prescribed medicine last year! That is an amazing figure! We often have our clients ask us what to do with their left over and expired medicine. We can not just throw it away or flush it down the toilet anymore. There are many drop off sites around the city. The closest to us is at the government centers at Ridgedale and Brookdale. Here are instructions and a map of Hennepin County drop off sites. Be sure to do the right thing and get rid of unneeded and expired medicine where it can not harm people, animals or the environment.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Relief from Cat Allergies?

There is a study here in Minnesota being run on a new medication that is supposed to help people suffering from sensitivities to their cat. This is not an endorsement because the company is new and I don’t know what the medication is. But if you are one of many who love their cats but are allergic to them, this might be worth inquiring about. Check out the CATALYST Study here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nice tribute to an old friend

James Lileks wrote a nice tribute to his old dog in today’s Star Tribune. Find that here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Red Lake Reservation Clinic

I helped out At the spay/neuter clinic on the Red Lake reservation this week. I posted some pictures in an album over on our facebook page at

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recipe for removing skunk odor from your dog

This time of year brings out increased encounters with skunks. Here is an easy recipe for neutralizing the odor. Bring the supplies with you and you can mix it up in a plastic container to use in the field when needed.
1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup baking soda and a tablespoon of dish soap. Put on rubber gloves, mix the ingredients and sponge the dog meticulously. It works very well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr. Rachel Stephensen had her baby!

Dr Stephensen had her baby!

Dr Stephensen had her baby

Malcolm Liam Preston Stephensen
Born Friday, July 19th, 2013 7lbs, 13 oz

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment