dcon logoIn August of 2018, d-CON, one of the most common rodenticides in the United States, transitioned from anticoagulant active ingredients such as brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethiolone, and diphacinone to cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3).

Rodenticides are amongst the most common toxins ingested by cats and dogs, so it’s imperative that veterinary professionals be aware of this change and understand its medical implications.

Of importance to veterinarians and their staff, as compared to anticoagulants, cholecalciferol has a completely different mechanism of action, presents with different clinical signs of toxicity, and does not respond to antidotes for anticoagulants.

For more information, refer to the Pet Poison Helpline d-Con webinar:

Cholecalciferol Summary from Pet Poison Helpline:

“Cholecalciferol, or activated vitamin D3, causes a life-threateningly high calcium and phosphorus level in the body, resulting in severe, acute kidney failure. This can progress to chronic kidney failure and have long-term repercussions. Common signs of poisoning may not be evident for 1-2 days, when the poison has already resulted in significant -and potentially permanent – damage to the body. Increased thirst and urination, weakness, lethargy, a decreased appetite, and halitosis (“uremic” breath) may be seen. Acute kidney failure develops 2-3 days after ingestion of this type of mouse and rat poison.

Unfortunately, cholecalciferol mouse and rat poison does not have an antidote, and is one of the most challenging poisoning cases to treat as hospitalization, frequent laboratory monitoring and expensive therapy is often required for a positive outcome. Treatment includes aggressive IV fluids (for 2-3 days) and specific drugs (e.g., diuretics, steroids, calcitonin and bisphosphonates) to decrease calcium levels in the body. Frequent monitoring of blood work (calcium, phosphorus, and kidney values) is often needed for a period of 2-6 weeks after ingestion.

Unfortunately, cholecalciferol has a very narrow margin of safety, which means that even small ingestions of this poison can result in severe clinical signs or death. Toxic ingestions must be treated quickly and appropriately to prevent kidney failure.”

Learn more:

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