Anticoagulant rodenticides inhibit the activation of vitamin K–dependent clotting factors, resulting in fatal hemorrhage. Nontarget species are exposed to these rodenticides primarily by direct consumption of baits or secondarily by consumption of poisoned prey. The diagnosis of anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis is more challenging in birds than in mammals because of the limited availability of laboratory tests to evaluate avian coagulation. In addition, the presenting signs in birds may differ from those commonly seen in mammals. Treatment for acute blood loss and therapy with vitamin K1 can result in a favorable outcome in birds. This report describes the presenting signs, diagnosis, and successful treatment of a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) with secondary anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1