Our regular feature focusing on the work of North-East veterinary specialists Wear Referrals this week looks at what to do if your pet eats poison.

RAT poisons aren’t just a risk to rodents.

If a pet gets into a store of poisons, or if sick rats and mice that have eaten poison are gobbled up by pets, then they are also at risk.

These poisons, called rodenticides, often contain drugs that interfere with clotting and animals that eat them will develop life threatening and often fatal bleeding.

Only quick action by vets can help save lives.

If the poison has just been eaten, then causing a pet to vomit up the substance can help.

If symptoms of poisoning are already present, then they may need emergency care including blood transfusion, treatment for shock and Vitamin K by injection, an important substance the body uses to help clot blood.

Little Lola, a Westie crossed with a Schnauzer (a Wowser) owned by Mr and Mrs Gillson, was taken to Wear Referrals with difficulty breathing.

She was in shock and dangerously close to dying.

Her chest was full of blood, meaning that her lungs could not expand and take in air.

The quick-thinking specialists drained the blood from out of her chest and quickly filtered it back into her circulation, saving her life using this rarely performed emergency technique.

She also received vitamin K and transfusion of additional clotting factors via a blood product called plasma.

Lola has made a fantastic recovery and is bouncing around as normal.

It may be too much to ask that she doesn’t go digging around for something unpleasant to eat, but is she does, or your pet has a life-threatening condition that needs emergency and specialist treatment, the team at Wear Referrals are always on hand to help.

If you are worried about your pet, then your usual family vet should be contacted first and referral can then be arranged if needed.