Puppy Seeks New Home after Surviving Run-in with Rat Poison

It is a very happy St. Patrick’s Day for a homeless puppy who underwent emergency treatment at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston after swallowing a near-fatal dose of rat poison earlier this month, the MSPCA-Angell announced today.

The one-year-old Beagle-mix, who staffers named “Patrick,” was brought to Angell’s 24/7 Emergency & Critical Care Unit on March 7 by Symone Gamble of Brockton, Mass., who found the dog walking outside her apartment complex.

“He just looked like a lost dog and I worried about him spending the night outside, so I put him in the car and drove him to the hospital. I had no idea that he was so sick,” she said.

Patrick spent several nights in the oxygen unit but is now on the mend!

Patrick spent several nights in the oxygen unit but is now on the mend!

Quick Thinking Saves Dog’s Life

Fortunately for Patrick, Gamble’s decision to take him to the hospital saved his life. Angell’s Dr. Roxanna Khorzad examined Patrick upon his arrival and immediately suspected he had eaten rat poison.

“By the time Patrick got to us he was dehydrated and minimally responsive,” she said. “He was having difficulty breathing because he had started to bleed into his chest, which caused fluid to build up around his lungs—a classic sign of a dog that had gotten into rodenticide (rat poison).”

Angell receives upwards of twenty cases per month involving pets that have eaten rat poison. The cases peak during spring and fall—times when landlords and home owners are most concerned with rodent infestation.

Dr. Khorzad stabilized Patrick and conducted blood and plasma transfusions, complete with high doses of Vitamin K, an essential blood clotting nutrient that neutralizes the effects of the poison.

“There’s no reason to suspect he had been intentionally poisoned,” said Dr. Khorzad, who noted that Patrick’s lack of identification tags and microchip signaled that he is likely a stray. “Rat poison is designed to taste like food; he likely ate it because he was hungry.”

Patrick’s Road to Recovery

Patrick spent three nights recovering in the hospital before he was transferred to a temporary foster home. His foster parent is continuing to treat him with Vitamin K and he is expected to be ready for adoption in about a month.

The MSPCA’s Boston adoption center manager, Alyssa Krieger, expects a permanent home is right around the corner.

“He’s sweet and incredibly cute,” she said. “We’re confident a family or a single individual will claim him in no time.” Krieger believes Patrick will do very well in a home with an active owner who will take him or for long walks and hikes in the woods.

Spike’s Fund to the Rescue

Patrick’s veterinary care exceeded $2,000 and was paid for via Spike’s Fund, a fund supported by donors that covers the medical care for homeless animals in the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.

Spike’s Fund—together with the MSPCA’s Pet Care Assistance program, which provides financial assistance to needy pet owners while offsetting medical costs for thousands of animals treated every year by the MSPCA, including those seized in cruelty investigations—proved to be a life-saver for dogs like Patrick.

Readers interested in donating to either Spike’s Fund or the Pet Care Assistance program can click here.

Anyone interested in adopting Patrick can email adoption@mspca.org for more information about the adoption process.