(PET HEALTH) We know that rat poison is deadly, but how bad is it for your pooch? Ciara Black is a Global Animal contributor from the Dog Help Network, a resource for dog health related websites. Read on for must know information for all dog guardians about keeping your pet safe from rat poison. — Global Animal
By Ciara Black
Rat poison is a very effective way to rid your yard and house of rodents throughout the winter. However, not only is rat poison toxic to rodents, but to dogs as well. Rat poisons are designed to “taste good” for rats and dogs will eat rat poison, if they get the chance.
Dogs eating rat poison is not an uncommon problem for dog owners. Rat poisons and other rodenticides can be fatal, even in small amounts. When it comes to dealing with dogs eating rat poison, there are a few things that should be kept in mind.
Rat poisons and other rodenticides can be fatal, even in small amounts. Rat poison may be ingested directly, through a pellet, or indirectly by consuming a rodent who had been poisoned.
What Does Rat Poison Do To My Dog?
Rat poison and rodenticides are designed to cause internal hemorrhaging in rodents. A rodent may not die for a few days after it has consumed the poison, which means it will be slowly dying from internal bleeding. As scary as that sounds, the same thing will happen to your dog.
Rat poisons are made with blood thinners, which will stop blood from clotting inside your dog’s system and leak into the organs, stomach and other cavities. When your dog has been poisoned, you will likely see blood in the urine, stool, saliva and bleeding from the nose.
Rat Poison Symptoms In Dogs
Rat poison may be ingested directly by consuming poisonous pellets, or indirectly from your dog eating or playing with a dead rodent that has been poisoned. Symptoms of rat poisoning usually don’t start to show until a few hours after consumption. Sometimes, symptoms may not even show for 24-48 hours.
Symptoms to look for include:
- Pale gums
- Blood in the saliva
- Low body temperature
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle spasms
- Blood in urine or feces
- Rapid breathing
Your dog’s symptoms may vary, but it is important to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if you suspect he has ingested any type of rat poison.
Things To Keep In Mind
It is no doubt that your dog could die from rat poison consumption if he is not treated properly. However, there are many different factors that contribute to if your dog will die or not. All poisons will react differently with your dog. Since the most popular are warafin based, or anti-coagulants, it is safe to assume that these factors are as accurate as possible.
If you are wondering how much rat poison can kill a dog, consider these factors:
Size of your dog - The first thing to keep in mind is the size of your dog. A 10 pound dog will likely be more quickly affected by rat poison than a 100 pound dog. One small pellet of rat poison may not be enough to make a large dog sick for hours, but could potentially kill a small dog very quickly.
When it comes to large dogs, it takes quite a bit of poison consumption to show any symptoms. Even if you don’t notice any symptoms right away, always take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you suspect he consumed any poison.
How much was consumed - How much rat poison your dog consumed is obviously a very important part in determining the severity of the poisoning. The easiest way to calculate how much poison your dog would have to consume to become sick is to calculate 50mg of poison per kg weight of your dog.
Type of poison - The different chemicals used in the rodent poison is also a very important thing to consider. Some poisons will affect your dog more quickly than others. Warafin is the most popular type of rat poison, which causes internal bleeding. Some rodent poisons have an ingredient called Bitrex, which makes the pellets taste bitter. This means your dog is less likely to keep eating the poisons if they taste bad.
Another thing to keep in mind is how old the poison might be. Old rat poison that has been sitting for a long time is less toxic to dogs compared to new pellets. This means the poison in the pellets has likely disintegrated over time.
If you suspect your dog may have consumed rat poison, call your veterinarian right away, even if no symptoms are present yet.
For more information about dogs eating rat poison, what to do in an emergency situation, symptoms and more, visit www.ratpoisonanddogs.com