Consumption of rat poison is not only bad news for the rodents of its naming, but also for unsuspecting canines. Some dogs can even die as a result of eating the poison, notably when they're particularly small. If you own a dog, make sure he never gets anywhere near rat poison, period.
Rat Poison Toxicity Basics
Dogs can experience poisoning when they encounter bromethalin. Bromethalin is a chemical that is a common component in a wide array of poisons targeted at both mice and rats. Bromethalin intake can bring upon the buildup of water within dogs' brains. It can raise cerebrospinal fluid pressure. Rat poison can even disrupt blood clotting in canines. Because of all these unpleasant risks, making sure your pooch never gets his paws -- or mouth -- near rat poison is of critical importance. Rat poison is hazardous to cats, as well. Note that dogs can experience poisoning not only from actually eating rat poison, but from eating rats that consumed it, too.
Time Frame for Symptoms
If your dog eats rat poison, you likely won't notice any signs of it immediately. Symptoms of rat poison toxicity typically emerge between two and three days post-intake, according to veterinarian Andrew J. Rosenfeld of the "Veterinary Medical Team Handbook." If you catch your pet eating rat poison in any amount, notify a veterinarian of the matter immediately, even if he seems totally fine. Without timely veterinary care and guidance, affected dogs can sometimes experience internal bleeding -- and death.
Urgent Veterinary Care
When dogs consume rat poison, veterinarians generally handle the emergency by encouraging vomiting. They do this in a time frame of two hours maximum after consumption. Management of rat poisoning entails removing the poison from the canine's digestive tract. Veterinarians also frequently use osmotic cathartics and activated charcoal to help clear out poisoned dogs, getting them to eliminate. Only a veterinarian can properly assess the situation and figure out which treatment options are most fitting for a poisoned canine.
Key Rat Poisoning Symptoms
Knowledge of the common symptoms of rat poisoning in dogs can also be helpful for concerned owners. If you ever notice any usual symptoms in your pet, take him to the veterinarian without delay. Typical signs of rat poisoning in canines include absence of appetite, nosebleeds, problems moving, fatigue, trouble breathing, collapsing, feebleness, swelling of the stomach, bruising, unusually dark fecal matter and presence of blood in fecal matter or vomit. If dogs consume rat poison in significant amounts, seizures might occur.
- The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook; Betsy Brevitz
- Pet Poison Helpline: Mouse and Rat Poison - Rodenticides Poisonous to Dogs & Cats
- PetMD: Bromethalin Rodenticide Poisoning in Dogs
- DogChannel.com: When Dogs Eat Rat Poison
- PetEducation: Rat Poisons in Dogs and Cats
- Veterinary Medical Team Handbook; Andrew J. Rosenfeld
- Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images