Date of this Version
Analytical methods for anticoagulants are complex and encumbered with highly sophisticated instrumentation for determination of anticoagulant concentrations. This greatly limits the application of anticoagulant measurement in biological samples as a diagnostic criteria to determine anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning. In the field of veterinary medicine, clinical laboratory measurements of the coagulation status in viable patients have been used historically as the means to make a diagnosis of anticoagulant poisoning. Nontarget animals (companion animals, e.g., dogs and cats; livestock; or wildlife), which are found dead in the context of an anticoagulant application area, are a tremendous diagnostic challenge in spite of postmortem evidence of a hemorrhagic diathesis common to death from such poisons. The recent understanding in the veterinary field (Mount and Feldman 1983, Mount et al. 1986) of the short versus long-acting anticoagulants has created a diagnostic dilemma in relation of vitamin Id therapy. It is therefore evident that analytical assays which possess high specificity, sensitivity, and economic feasibility are needed to better clarify these issues.