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Rat bait poisoning

Beware when you put out the rat bait to get rid of those pesky vermin. Most rat baits have a characteristic green dye, but dogs and cats have poor colour vision and may mistake it for a change of food or a little treat.

Most rat baits are anticoagulants. The good news is there is an antidote.The bad news is they do not produce signs of poisoning for several days after the toxic dose has been eaten. So, if you see your dog eating rat bait don’t wait a few hours or days to see if they’ll be ok, bring them in straight away!

The symptoms seen with rat bait poisoning are due to internal bleeding. A poisoned dog can show weakness and may be cold. If you look at the gums, they are pale. Sometimes you may see bloody urine or faeces, and other times nose bleeds may be seen.

BUT remember these signs are seen DAYS after the bait has been eaten.

If you see or are suspicious of your dog having eaten rat bait-call the vet straight away! If a dog has just eaten the rat bait they can be made to vomit, getting most of the poison out of the system, and the antidote Vitamin K1 can be started.

BUT if it has been several days it can be expensive to treat and can be life-threatening. Blood transfusions may be needed.

The rat bait remains in the body for several weeks. A follow-up blood clotting test 48 hours after treatment is stopped is important and will show if more vitamin K1 is required.

So please think where you place rat bait and call us if you think your pet has had a snack on it!!