Copper, a 12 week old golden retriever puppy, presented to Madison Veterinary Specialists’ Internal Medicine Department after her family noticed that her gums would not stopped bleeding after loosing a few puppy teeth. Copper had previously been a very healthy and active puppy who occasionally used snowbanks to escape from her fenced yard. Copper’s family noticed that she lost a couple of teeth the night before while playing with her toys; something very normal for a puppy her age. They were however immediately concerned when the bleeding did not stop and Copper became weak, unable to walk and even hold her head up.
Dr. Bates was able to quickly determine that Copper’s blood was not able to clot even though she had a normal number of platelets. Platelets are small cells in blood which bind together to form clots thus preventing bleeding. Using MVS’s in house blood analyzers Dr. Bates quickly found that Copper was suffering from an anticoagulant rodenticide toxicity.
Copper was administered a life saving blood plasma transfusion just in the nick of time. Shortly after arriving at MVS she started to bleed into her brain; she was in a coma-like state and in grave danger of not surviving. The team at MVS was able to stop the bleeding right before significant permanent brain damage occurred. Copper remained hospitalized at MVS receiving Vitamin K (the antidote for anticoagulant rodenticide) and 24 hour care. The amazing team at MVS worked tirelessly to help Copper recuperate, holding her in their arms and spoon feeding her meat flavored baby food until she could sit-up and eat on her own.
Copper not only survived this ordeal, but she was able to to return to her family and the carefree playful life of a puppy. We see stories like Copper’s all too often, but due to the generosity of our blood donors, we are able to have life-saving transfusions available resulting in many successful and happy outcomes. Please visit our blood bank page to learn how your own dog can save lives like Copper.