Exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) in dogs is among the most common causes of poisoning in small animal practice, but information about toxicokinetic of these rodenticides in dogs is lacking. We analysed blood and faeces from five accidentally exposed dogs and 110 healthy dogs by reversed phase ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The aim of the study was to estimate elimination of brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difenacoum after acute exposure, calculate the half-lives of these rodenticides in dogs, estimate faecal elimination in a litter of puppies born, and further to identify the extent of AR exposure in a healthy dog population.
Three dogs were included after single ingestions of brodifacoum; two dogs ingested bromadiolone and one dog ingested difenacoum. Maximum concentrations in faeces were found after day 2–3 for all ARs. The distribution half-lives were 1–10 days for brodifacoum, 1–2 days for bromadiolone and 10 days for difenacoum. Brodifacoum and difenacoum had estimated terminal half-lives of 200–330 days and 190 days, respectively. In contrast, bromadiolone had an estimated terminal half-life of 30 days. No clinical signs of poisoning or coagulopathy were observed in terminal elimination period. In blood, the terminal half-life of brodifacoum was estimated to 8 days. Faeces from a litter of puppies born from one of the poisoned dogs were examined, and measurable concentrations of brodifacoum were detected in all samples for at least 28 days after parturition. A cross-sectional study of 110 healthy domestic dogs was performed to estimate ARs exposure in a dog population. Difenacoum was detected in faeces of one dog. Blood and faecal samples from the remaining dogs were negative for all ARs.
Based on the limited pharmacokinetic data from these dogs, our results suggest that ARs have a biphasic elimination in faeces using a two-compartment elimination kinetics model. We have shown that faecal analysis is suitable and reliable for the assessment of ARs exposure in dogs and a tool for estimating the AR half-lives. Half-lives of ARs could be a valuable indicator in the exposed dogs and provides important information for veterinarians monitoring AR exposure and assessment of treatment length in dogs.
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