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Vitamin K1 (Veta-K1®)

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Overview

  • Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. One specific function of vitamin K1 involves production of blood coagulation factors. Deficiency or inhibition of vitamin K can lead to a bleeding disorder.
  • Deficiencies of this vitamin are most likely to occur with poisoning by certain types of rat poison. Chemicals found in the rat bait can inhibit formation of vitamin K1 dependent clotting factors. There are numerous products that affect this vitamin (including warfarin, D-CON with brodifacoum, bromadiolone, pindone, diphacinone).
  • Other causes of vitamin K deficiency include liver disease (which can result in poor absorption of vitamin K1, leading to a deficiency of this vitamin) and medication containing warfarin (excessive doses can result in vitamin K deficiency).
  • In animals deficient in vitamin K, administration of vitamin K1 may take up to six to 12 hours before new clotting proteins are produced. For this reason, if a blood-clotting crisis is occurring, a whole blood or plasma transfusion may be needed initially.
  • Vitamin K3 also is available for treatment of deficiencies, but this form of vitamin K is much less effective and not recommended for treating blood clotting problems.
  • Vitamin K1 is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans and animals.
  • Human formulations: Mephyton® (Merck), Aqua-Mephyton® (Merck) and various generic preparations
  • Veterinary formulations: Veta-K1® (Vedco), Veda-K1® (Vedco) and various generic formulations

    Uses of Vitamin K1

  • The primary use of vitamin K is treatment of anticoagulant rodenticide toxicity.
  • Vitamin K also has been used in animals with liver problems unable to produce necessary blood clotting proteins.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, vitamin K1 can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Vitamin K1 should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Intravenous administration of vitamin K has been associated with severe allergic reactions.
  • Vitamin K1 may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with vitamin K1. Such drugs include aspirin, cimetidine, thyroid drugs and certain antibiotics.
  • Red blood cell destruction can happen when excessive doses of vitamin K are administered for prolonged periods.

    How Vitamin K1 Is Supplied

  • Vitamin K1 is available in a 2 mg/ml solution in 0.5 ml ampules.
  • It is also available in a 10 mg/ml solution in 1 ml ampules or in multi-dose bottles.
  • Vitamin K1 is also available in 5 mg and 25 mg tablets.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • For anticoagulant rodenticide toxicity, the typical dose is 1 to 3 mg per pound (2 to 6 mg/kg) daily. This is usually split and given in two or three equal doses over the day.
  • Vitamin K1 treatment must be continued for as long as the rodenticide is present in the body. Some rodenticides are very long-lasting, remaining in the body for up to six weeks after ingestion.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.





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