ISSN 2398-2950      

Bromethalin poisoning

ffelis

Introduction

  • Rodenticide poison produced as grain-based bait or pellets.
  • Signs: neurological signs with seizures.
  • Diagnosis: signs and post-mortem demonstration of bromethalin or the metabolite desmethylbromethalin in tissues.
  • Treatment: symptomatic with repeat dose activated charcoal and possibly lipid infusion.
  • Prognosis: guarded and may need prolonged aftercare.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Direct ingestion of bait/pellets.
  • Relay or secondary toxicosis (eating small vermin which have been poisoned) may occur in the cat.

Predisposing factors

  • Cats are more sensitive to bromethalin than dogs.
  • Young age.

Pathophysiology

  • Both bromethalin and the active metabolite desmethylbromethalin uncouple oxidative phosphorylation.
  • There is inadequate ATP production by mitochondria and then decreased sodium/potassium ion channel pump activity.
  • Cells lose their osmotic control and retain sodium and swell with water resulting in cerebral edema and increased CSF pressure.
  • Cats are more sensitive to bromethalin than dogs and the oral LD50 in cats is reported to be 0.54 mg/kg and 1.8 mg/kg.
  • In toxicity studies cats remained well after 0.15 and 0.3 mg/kg, but the lowest lethal dose was 0.45 mg/kg of bromethalin (4.5 g of a 0.01% bait/kg).
  • In cases reported to the American Animal Poison Control Center deaths in cats have occurred from doses as low as 0.24 mg/kg.

Timecourse

  • Signs usually within 10 to 24 hours but not appear for 2 to 4 days, and progress slowly over anything up to 2 weeks.

Epidemiology

  • Cases are generally reported in North America and following changes in rodenticide regulations cases in companion animals are increasing.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Kent M, Glass E N (2017) Bromethalin intoxication in cats. JAVMA 250 (10), 1089-1090 ResearchGate.
  • Tourdot R (2017) The decontamination dilemma: bromethalin ingestion. Today’s Vet Practitioner (1), 95-100 VetMedResource.
  • Rubinstein I, Weinberg G (2014) Antidote for bromethalin poisoning. Can Vet J 55 (1), 1185 PubMed.
  • Peterson M E (2013) Bromethalin. Top Companion Anim Med 28 (1), 21-23 PubMed.
  • Martin T, Johnson B (1989) A suspected case of bromethalin toxicity in a domestic cat. Vet Hum Toxicol 31 (3), 239-240 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Dorman D C (2006) Bromethalin. In: Small Animal Toxicology, 2nd edition. Peterson M E, Talcott P A (eds). St Louis, Missouri: Saunders Elsevier.

Organisation(s)

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