Ask Dr Fiona

I was thinking of using Ratsak to kill rats, but I am concerned that my dogs will get at the dead rats and be harmed?

Rat bait (rodenticide) is a common cause of dog poisoning. Dogs can become poisoned by directly eating the bait or eating a dead rodent that had previously ingested the bait.

Rodenticides act as anticoagulants (prevent the blood from clotting). They deplete the body’s supply of vitamin K which is essential in the formation of clotting agents in the blood stream.

Signs of poisoning are generally not seen for 1-5 days. This is really important to be aware of because your pet may appear absolutely fine immediately after they eat it so people tend to not worry in the short term.

Signs include:

  • quiet /depressed
  • signs of bleeding externally- from nose, in urine or faeces
  • pale gums
  • weakness
  • seems cold
  • coughing (possible bleeding in the chest)

If your pet did happen to ingest a rodent that had consumed rat bait, the effects on your dog will depend on what type of rat bait was ingested, how long ago, and how much of the rodent was eaten. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be hard to decipher.

If you even suspect your dog may have eaten rat bait or a dead rat you need to take them to the veterinarian immediately. Ideally, they need to be seen within an hour so that your dog can be given medication to make them vomit. Your dog may also require administration of Vitamin K.

Prevention is key when it comes to rodenticide poisoning. Do not let your pet have access to these baits or dead rodents. Consider if using rat bait is absolutely essential.

There are other alternatives to rat bait (such as a mouse trap) that are safer and more humane for the rodents. Or seek help from a professional pest controller.

If you’d like to chat in person, you can get a vet within minutes on a live video call or start a text chat to discuss in more detail.

We’re here to help!

Chat soon,
Dr Fi

in Toxins Tags: Dograt baitrodenticide