Friday, September 23, 2011

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Vitamin K

By Fred
Jam continues to do well following our scare with the rat poison. We distributed some flyers in the neighborhood so that everyone could inspect their yards and so that the offending poisoner could correct the problem. It wasn't an intentional poisoning--it's pretty clear that someone didn't understand how to secure the plastic packets, and the rats ran off with some of them and into our yard.

The flyer said this:
To our neighbors:
Our dog found some rat poison in our yard Saturday. He is fine, but it was a real scare for us. The poison is called First Strike Soft Bait, and it comes in small clear plastic packets, about the size of a coffee creamer packet. [showed a picture here]
If you are using this or any poison, please read the instructions carefully. The poison should be secured in such a way that a rat or mouse cannot grab the packets and carry them away to another place. This endangers all the wild animals, pets and small children in the neighborhood.
We found several of the packets in our yard. And we’ve heard reports that some squirrels were recently found dead nearby. Please check your yard carefully.
And I put it on all the doors in the neighborhood. No one has come forward, and I am not holding my breath. I did notice a flurry of activity in the neighborhood, with piles of brush carried to the street for pickup.

A picture of Jam being cuteDuring the course of this, we have learned much about rat poison and how it works (at least this particular kind) and what to do about it. The poison has a delayed reaction, working on the blood's ability to clot and depleting the animal's normal level of Vitamin K. So, the treatment (after, of course, getting the dog to throw up right away) is to introduce Vitamin K back into the system. We're pretty sure that very little, if any, of the poison got into his system, but the Vitamin K is important just in case.

Cheryl took the Vitamin K prescription to CVS and was told it would cost $400. That's right, $400 for 5 days of pills.

We learned that it would be cheaper if we got it from an animal emergency clinic, so we took Jam and the prescription to the very nice people at Animal Emergency and Urgent Care. The vet there suggested a chewable pill that was 50 mg (instead of the prescribed 40 mg). Would you guess that the prescription would then cost $500? No. The final bill for the Vitamin K: $12.25. That's right, twelve dollars and change.

Anyway, Jam is happy and doing fine. Maybe someone else can fix the health care system and pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Wow how scary! Glad everything is ok!

  2. That is scary... glad everything worked out okay and you were able to educate your neighbors (and blog readers).