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What is Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison?

There are three most common types of rat poisons that are toxic to dogs: cholecalciferol, bromethalin and anticoagulant rodenticides. They are all extremely dangerous to dogs and can lead to life-threatening conditions and even death.

Cholecalciferol raises the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the dog’s system, which can lead to kidney failure and death if not treated properly and promptly. Bromethalin poisoning causes swelling of the brain while anticoagulant rodenticides poisoning prevents the dog’s blood from clotting, which results in severe and uncontrollable bleeding. They also require immediate therapy.

Rodenticide ingestion or simply poisoning due to ingesting rat poison is a common intoxication in dogs. Signs of the intoxication and its onset may vary depending on the kind of poison and the ingested dosage. Therefore, it is critical to identify the exact type of rodenticide, for the treatment of the wrong kind of intoxication may result in death.

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Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $15,000

Average Cost

$8,000

Symptoms of Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison in Dogs

  • Cholecalciferol (signs manifest between 4-36 hours after ingestion)
    • Increased drinking and urinating
    • Lethargy
    • Anorexia
    • Dehydration
    • Cardiac arrhythmia
    • Depression
    • Fatigue
  • Bromethalin
    • Large doses (signs manifest within 24 hours)
      • Severe muscle tremors
      • Hyperthermia
      • Extreme hyper-excitability
      • Focal or generalized seizures
    • Lower doses (signs manifest 1-3 days)
      • Hind limb ataxia
      • Paresis or paralysis
      • CNS depression
  • Anticoagulant Rodenticides (signs manfiest within 3-7 days)
    • Lethargy
    • Lack of appetite
    • Blood in the stool
    • Vomiting
    • Nose bleeds
    • Bleeding gums
    • Bruising
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Causes of Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison in Dogs

  • Eating the rat poison
  • Secondary exposure, eating a rodent intoxicated with rodenticide
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Diagnosis of Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison in Dogs

If you are inclined to think that you dog has ingested rat poison, ask for professional help immediately. If your dog has vomited, bring the sample of the vomit to your veterinarian. Most importantly, if you have found the poison itself, take it to the veterinarian's office as well, as it will significantly shorten the time your veterinarian needs to make a diagnosis. The sooner the veterinarian knows which poison has been ingested, the sooner they can start treating your dog.

  • Cholecalciferol Poisoning
    • Dogs that have been exposed to this kind of rat poisoning will first exhibit the abovementioned signs within 36 hours, followed by nausea, vomiting and hematemesis. If a veterinarian suspects that a dog has been poisoned with cholecalciferol, they will conduct a baseline biochemistry profile, which includes the analysis of both the blood plasma and other body fluids, in order to check the dog’s calcium and phosphorus levels, confirm the diagnosis and monitor the condition of the dog.
  • Bromethalin Poisoning
    • Dogs that have been exposed to bromethalin usually develop signs within 1-7 days of ingesting the poison. Veterinarians perform analysis of the liver, kidney, brain or fat in order to determine whether bromethalin is present in the dog’s system. This also enables them to find out the severity of the poisoning.
  • Anticoagulant Rodenticides
    • Anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning can be diagnosed in a number of ways, including using laboratory blood tests and blood chemistries. 
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Treatment of Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison in Dogs

Cholecalciferol Poisoning
If you are absolutely sure that your dog has ingested this type of rat poison in the previous two hours, you could induce vomiting yourself, under the advice of your veterinarian. However, do not attempt to induce vomiting if you are not certain that your dog has been exposed to cholecalciferol, or if they have already vomited. Since your dog will most likely be dehydrated as a result of cholecalciferol poisoning, it’s of utmost importance to make sure that they are taking in enough water and that they are able to retain the fluid. Since this type of poison doesn’t have an antidote, your vet will administer IV fluids and diuretics, steroids and other drugs to lower the calcium levels in the animals’ body. To prevent kidney failure, it’s crucial to start the treatment as soon as possible.

Bromethalin Poisoning
The first step to treating bromethalin poisoning is to decontaminate the dog’s digestive system, which includes inducing vomiting and then administering IV fluids and other medications to lower the risk of brain swelling.

Anticoagulant Rodenticides
Since anticoagulant rodenticides can cause bleeding, the treatment includes administering blood or frozen plasma if needed. Veterinarians also give dogs vitamin K as an antidote, as the vitamin encourages normal blood clotting. It’s significant to note that you shouldn’t force vomiting unless you have been given specific instructions by your veterinarian.

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Recovery of Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison in Dogs

Cholecalciferol Poisoning
Following the first two or three days, which are most critical when this type of poisoning is concerned, your veterinarian will monitor calcium and phosphorus levels for 2-6 weeks after exposure or until they have returned back to baseline. Renal function will be monitored during that period as well.

Bromethalin Poisoning
To prevent your dog from suffering from anorexia after bromethalin poisoning, include feeding supplements in their daily diet. It will take them some time to fully recover from the toxicosis, so taking them for regular check-ups is a must.

Anticoagulant Rodenticides

Depending on the dosage ingested, your dog may recover from one week to one month. In that time period, it’s vital to monitor their condition and report any signs of illness to your veterinarian.

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Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $15,000

Average Cost

$8,000

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Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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German Shepherd

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Think she got into rat/mouse poison. We have a German Shepard and a mastiff mix. How can I tell if they ate it and will they die ? Poison was old a d they both are a packet of Tom Kat

Feb. 9, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, it may be a few hours before you see any signs. These can cause neuro issues or bleeding disorders depending on the ingredient in the one that they possibly could have eaten. It would be best for them to see the ER vet right away, they can induce vomiting and start your dog on the treatment for the specific toxin.

Feb. 9, 2021

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Pit Bull

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Throw Up

How do I get it out his mouth

July 23, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I'm not sure, from your email, what you were trying to get out of your dog's mouth If he is continuing to vomit, it would be best to have him seen by your veterinarian. If there is something in his mouth, it would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian so that they can get that out of his mouth. Otherwise, I'm not sure what exactly is going on with your dog, but if you are not sure, Veterinary Care is always the best option. I hope that all goes well.

July 23, 2020

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Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $15,000

Average Cost

$8,000

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