Rat and mouse baits can be lethal.

Rat and mouse baits are potentially lethal to your dog or cat. These poisons come in the form of wax blocks, pastes, granules or liquids. Your pet can become poisoned from eating the bait itself, or by eating rodents that have been poisoned.

Mouse & Rat baits can killThese products contain an anti-coagulant. This means that if your pet consumes enough, their blood will fail to clot, and they can bleed internally. Signs of poisoning do not occur for at least 2-3 days after ingestion, and rather problematically, these chemicals have a long duration of action and an accumulative effect. This means that if your pet eats small non-lethal amounts over a number of days/weeks, they can still become as ill as if they were to eat the same amount at one time.

Initially, you may notice your pet to be a little quieter than usual, and off their food. As the blood clotting fails, your pet becomes increasingly unwell, and may bleed internally. Their gum colour may become pale pink or white (instead of a healthy pink), and they may bleed from their nose, or have bloody stools. They can also bleed into the lungs, becoming quite chesty sounding and may have difficulty breathing. They become extremely weak and lethargic and can die. If you notice any of these signs, get your pet to a veterinarian immediately.

Treatment of rat or mouse bait poisonings is very effective if caught early. If you know your pet has eaten baits, a trip to your vet will be required to get the toxin out of their system. Vitamin K supplements can reverse signs of disease, but are required for a number of weeks. If your pet is severely affected however, they may require hospitalisation, intravenous fluid therapy or a blood transfusion.

 Dr Laura Thompson

Sanford Veterinary Clinic 

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