Rodents are never far from our houses, garbage bins, and picnic tables. They multiply, cause damage or destruction, and even have the potential to spread disease.
While a quick, easy application of rodenticide may help control their numbers, rodents can live between 12 hours and 2 days before the poison eventually kills them. In that time, they may be hunted and consumed by cats and dogs.
Pet poisoning cases that result from secondary exposure to rodenticides remain a serious threat to overall health and safety. Town & Country Animal Hospital wants to reduce the risks and help protect all pets from harm.
Understand the Dangers
There are a few different types of rodenticides designed to kill mice and rats.
- Anticoagulation rodenticides, such as Tomcat, D-Con, or Enforcer are usually dyed green, and interfere with a rodent’s ability to use vitamin K. This leads to bleeding and death, but can take up to several weeks.
- Bromethalin stops the nervous system from producing energy resulting in increased pressure in the skull, paralysis, and death.
- Cholecalciferol is a type of vitamin D that helps with calcium balance. When used a poison, damage to the brain, kidneys, and GI tract occurs from an excessive level of calcium in the bloodstream.
A pet poisoning that occurs from either eating a rodent that ingested the poison, or direct consumption of the rodenticide, is a pet emergency.
In the event of exposure to an anticoagulation poison, vitamin K acts like an antidote if symptoms are caught early. Otherwise, supportive care and aggressive therapy are a pet’s only chance at recovery.
Level the Playing Field
The severity of a pet poisoning caused by rodenticide is related to a pet’s size, the amount consumed, how much time has elapsed, and the active ingredient in the poison. Symptoms may include:
- Pale gums
- Diarrhea (with or without blood)
- Bleeding from the nose
- Bloody urine
- Labored breathing
These symptoms are often connected to internal hemorrhage, brain swelling, and kidney failure.
Do not wait to see if your pet develops symptoms if you know or suspect they ate rodenticide. It’s best to err on the side of caution and get ahead of any pet emergency needs. If you have any packaging, please bring it with you so we have as much information about the toxins.
Prevent a Pet Poisoning
Using rodenticides is a big risk at home. If you move or are visiting someone, please ask if they have left out any bait.
In place of toxic bait, seal up any gaps around the house, keep food in secure containers, and tidy up any leaf piles or debris around the property.