Dogs Sickened by Rat Poison Rushed to Angell Animal Medical Center

November 21, 2012

BOSTON, Nov. 21, 2012 – Two dogs are lucky to be alive after they accidentally ingested rat poison this past weekend and required emergency treatment in the animal ER at Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, Mass., the hospital announced today.  “Zoe,” a seven-year-old Yorkshire Terrier is recuperating with her family in Brookline and “Coco,” a six-month-old Terrier mix, is back home in Hyde Park after both dogs nearly died earlier this week. 

Zoe and Coco’s run-in with rat poisoning comes on the heels of a spate of apparently deliberate attempts to poison dogs in South Boston last week.  According to media reports two other dogs died after food laced with rat poison was thrown into their N Street yard last week.  The dogs, both greyhound mixes, were made so sick they had to be euthanized. 

 Zoe (left) with her best friend Luigi before Zeo's run-in with rat poisoning (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Angell veterinarians stress that Zoe’s encounter with rat poison was accidental but Coco’s owner, Michelle Madera, cannot fathom how her dog managed to come into contact with it.  “There is no rat poison in our house or anywhere on our property,” she said.  Madera is contacting the police to report the incident.

"Common rat poison is extremely dangerous and causes internal bleeding two to three days after it’s ingested,” said Dr. Annie Wayne, an emergency veterinarian at Angell who treated Zoe and Coco.  “Fortunately for Zoe and Coco their owners got them to the animal ER quickly enough for the treatment—a combination of blood transfusions, plasma therapy and vitamin K—to be effective.”

In Zoe’s case, the dog likely consumed rat poison that had fallen out of a bait trap that was set up in the yard by a professional exterminator.  Said Zoe’s owner, Merilyn: “She probably ate a small amount of poison that had been carried out of a bait trap by a mouse.”  Family members immediately rushed the dog to Angell after discovering that she had consumed the poison. 

Madera brought Coco to the hospital after he had grown progressively lethargic over the course of several days, and it was then that doctors discovered signs of the poison in his system.  “I’m sickened to learn that my dog somehow ingested this poison and am determined to find out exactly how that happened,” said Madera afterwards.

 Coco prior to his visit to Angell Animal Medical Center for emergency treatment (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Accidental pet poisoning is not uncommon and Angell has set up a special “Poison Control Hotline” that pet caretakers can call 24 hours per day if they suspect their animals may have ingested poison.  Typical symptoms associated with poisoning—such as vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy—can be very general, so doctors caution that, when in doubt, pet owners should seek the advice of a veterinarian.  The Hotline number is 1-877-2ANGELL.  For more information about Angell Animal Medical Center’s Emergency & Critical Care services visit or call 617-522-7282.




Angell Animal Medical Center cares for more than 50,000 animals a year and is one of the most acclaimed veterinary practices in the country. Angell has 67 doctors and an experienced support staff who work as a team to ensure high quality general wellness, emergency and specialty care. With 31 board-certified specialists and technology that includes an MRI specifically designed for animals, Angell is committed to providing a broad range of specialized expertise and experience, but delivers this care with one-on-one compassion that animals and their owners deserve. Angell is open for emergencies 24 hours of every day of the year, and offers night and weekend appointments with our specialty services.