Dog Care: The Dangers Of Rat Poison

When you think about preventing your dog from ingesting poison, you may think about common toxins in your home, such as cleaning products, medication and certain foods. However, there are also poisonous substances to be aware of that are commonly found outside the home. Rat poison often contains bromethalin as its active ingredient and is highly toxic to dogs when ingested. If you put rat poison down in your home, you will need to ensure your dog is kept elsewhere. However, when rat poison has been put down outside, you may not even be aware of it. Some dogs will eat rat poison, while others will ingest dead rats with poison in their system. So, if your neighbour puts rat poison down and a poisoned rat find its way into your garden, your dog is at risk.

Symptoms Of Rat Poison Toxicity

If your dog ingests rat poison, they will experience gastric and neurological symptoms. Gastric symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhoea, and neurological symptoms may include muscle tremors, loss of coordination, partial paralysis and seizures. It's common for dogs that have ingested rat poison to stop eating and drinking, which can quickly lead to dehydration.

Treating Rat Poison Toxicity

Your dog's urine will be checked for the presence of rat poison and they will likely need to undergo an MRI or CT scan to determine whether there is any damage or swelling in the brain. Your vet will want to confirm the cause of your dog's symptoms as quickly as possible to get an effective treatment plan in place.

Rat poisoning toxicity is treated by purging your dog's body of the toxin. The method used to do this will depend on the severity of your dog's symptoms and whether you are aware of exactly when your dog ingested the poison. Treatment may involve inducing vomiting or giving your dog activated charcoal. This substance binds to toxins in the intestines and carries them out of the body when your dog has a bowel movement. Alternatively, your vet may perform gastric lavage, which is a procedure that involves inserting a small tube into your dog's stomach to flush it with a saline solution. In addition to purging the poison from your dog's body, your vet may prescribe medication to control tremors and seizures and your dog may need intravenous fluids to treat dehydration.

If your dog is showing any sings of rat poison toxicity, they need to be seen by your vet without delay. Contact local vet services to learn more.