Imagine this: you discover your dog has ingested rat poison. It’s alarming and could be life-threatening, but your swift response can make a world of difference. Let’s look at what immediate steps you can take:
- Get your dog away from the rat poison source and secure it somewhere out of reach.
- Keep a close eye on your dog, assessing their behaviour for any changes.
- Call our hotline to let our team know you’re coming in as an emergency and bring your dog straight into the hospital.
- Be prepared to provide details about the poison.
- Don’t attempt any home remedies or induce vomiting. It might result in complications and extra medical costs.
Swift communication with us can save precious time. Even if symptoms aren’t immediately noticeable, err on the side of caution and come straight in.
Let’s Talk Rat Poison
Commonly called rat or mice poison, anticoagulant rodenticides are used to control rodents. These can come in different forms like pellets, powder, or liquid, which can easily be consumed by pets, leading to unintentional ingestion by dogs.
These poisons function by inhibiting the blood’s ability to clot, resulting in internal bleeding.
Other chemicals in rat poison include:
- Cholecalciferol or vitamin D3: It increases calcium levels, damaging various tissues and potentially leading to multiple organ failure.
- Bromethalin: It triggers brain swelling and can cause symptoms like poor coordination, seizures, and paralysis.
- Zinc and aluminum phosphides: These release phosphine gas in the stomach, which can cause bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting, seizures, and liver damage.
Spotting the Signs of Rat Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms can vary based on the type of poison and may not appear immediately after ingestion. Symptoms can take up to a week to show but many brands contain dyes that can be spotted in your dog’s feces. If you spot unnatural colours in your dog’s faeces, immediately reach out to our team and visit our vets.
Early professional help increases the chances of successful treatment. Your dog might also exhibit:
- Pale gums
- Reduced appetite
- Muscle weakness
- Poor coordination
- Increased thirst
These symptoms could also indicate other conditions, so it’s crucial to consult your vet.
Treatment Plans for Rat Poisoning
Treatment options depend on the type of poison and time since ingestion. If it’s within a few hours of ingestion, our vets may induce vomiting with special medications and administer activated charcoal to remove as much poison as possible. They’ll also need to check your dog’s bloodwork and admit them to the hospital for intravenous fluids and monitoring.
Potential treatments in serious cases can include:
- Anticoagulant rodenticides: Dogs may need vitamin K for 4-6 weeks and a blood transfusion.
- Cholecalciferol or vitamin D3: Dogs may need extensive care, possibly hospitalization, with IV fluids and medications.
- Bromethalin: Dogs need close monitoring and treatment for brain swelling.
- Zinc and aluminum phosphides: Dogs may require antacids and controlled induction of vomiting