Even a small amount of rat poison or rodenticide can be deadly for canines. And no single rat poison is considered safe for your pet.
While there are many types of rat poison on the market, most of them are designed to be enticing for rats. As such, they contain ingredients such as sugars or grains and thus can attract your pup’s interest as well.
Your furbaby can suffer from secondary poisoning even if it eats a rat or other rodent killed by such poison.
But how can you tell if your dog has had rat poison and what to do?
The Telltale Signs That Your Pup Has Ingested Rat Poison
The severity of the poisoning and the symptoms vary from one type of rodenticide to another. Also, on the amount ingested, your dog’s weight, age, and health, and the time it was consumed.
The most common symptoms of rat poisoning in dogs include vomiting or coughing blood, lethargy, pale gums, difficulties breathing, cardiac abnormalities, neurological problems, internal bleeding, renal failure, seizures, and collapsing.
Your Dog Ate Rat Poison – What Should You Do?
Suppose you even suspect that your furry companion has come into contact with rat poison. In that case, it is essential to contact your veterinarian, an emergency vet, or an animal poison control hotline ASAP!
You should get your pup to the vet as quickly as possible because every minute is vital when it comes to potent toxins such as rat poison.
If you can, bring the container or a sample of the poison with you to the vet for faster diagnosis and treatment.
How Is Rat Poisoning Diagnosed In Dogs?
Bring the leftover poison or its container to the vet, and try to give your veterinarian an estimate of the amount ingested and when it was consumed.
Your dog will be examined at the clinic, and blood work and vital signs will be tested as quickly as possible.
What Is The Treatment For Rat Poisoning In Dogs?
The treatment depends on how long ago the poison was ingested. If it was less than six hours ago, the vet will likely induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal. This is done to limit the absorption and damage done by the toxin.
Do not try to induce vomiting yourself without specific instructions and approval from your veterinarian!
After that, various blood and other diagnostic tests may be run to determine the toxicity in the blood and the damage done.
Your dog will most likely have IV fluid and medications administered to block further absorption of the poison by the body. They will also help flush it out as quickly as possible and manage other symptoms and adverse effects it has already done.
Your four-legged companion may need to stay in the hospital for treatment and monitoring for a few days.
What Is The Prognosis For The Dog After Eating Rat Poison?
The prognosis depends on the amount eaten but, most importantly, on the time which has passed since the ingestion. The faster you act – the better the prognosis.
Unfortunately, the prognosis is usually poor if your pup has severe symptoms of poisoning, such as cardiac, renal, or neurological problems and failure. This is because the poisoning has probably advanced to a stage that cannot be reversed or stopped.
Which Dogs Are At Higher Risk Of Rat Poisoning?
Small-sized dogs, young puppies, and dogs with underlying medical conditions are at a greater risk of suffering from severe or fatal rat poisoning. Pups with kidney disease are especially susceptible to this type of toxin.
As for eating the rat poison itself, any dog with access to rodenticide is at risk of poisoning, so you should always keep such products safely away from your pet!
Preventing Rat Poisoning In Dogs
The best way to avoid such horrible accidents is to avoid keeping rodenticide products in your home and property altogether.
When you are out of your property, you should supervise your furry companion to keep it from eating any rat poison and bait set by neighbors and businesses nearby.
When you are out of home, ensure your furbaby is safely locked inside your house or behind a secured fence.
Keep your property, storage areas, and other parts of your property clean, and remove the trash regularly to prevent rat infestations.
If you already have rats, you may want to use the more humane non-kill traps to capture and then release them. These traps are safer for your pup.
In case of a severe infestation, consider hiring professionals to handle your problem in the most efficient and pet-safe manner.
Prevention is the best way to avoid dealing with a severe and potentially deadly emergency such as rat poisoning of your beloved four-legged friend!