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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 canines 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 the death of the canine.

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

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Symptoms of Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison in Dogs

  • Cholecalciferol

    (symptoms manifest between 4-36 hours after ingestion)

    • Polyuria and polydipsia
    • Lethargy
    • Anorexia
    • Dehydration
    • Cardiac arrhythmia
    • Depression
    • Fatigue
  • Bromethalin
    • Large doses (symptoms manifest within 24 hours)
      • Severe muscle tremors
      • Hyperthermia
      • Extreme hyper-excitability
      • Focal or generalized seizures
    • Lower doses (symptoms manifest 1-3 days)
      • Hind limb ataxia
      • Paresis or paralysis
      • CNS depression
  • Anticoagulant Rodenticides

    (symptoms 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 symptoms 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 symptoms 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 analyzing the dog’s stomach contents, plasma or serum to confirm that the animal has indeed ingested the poison.
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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. However, do not attempt to force vomiting if you are not 100 percent 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. 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 vet 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

    Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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    Ask a Vet

    dog-name-icon

    dog-breed-icon

    German Shepherd

    dog-age-icon

    Four Years

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    Unknown severity

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    1 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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    1 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

    dog-age-icon

    Two 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

    Throw Up

    How do I get it out his mouth

    July 23, 2020

    Owner

    answer-icon

    Dr. Michele K. DVM

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    0 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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    Mutt

    dog-age-icon

    Five Months

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    Unknown severity

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    1 found helpful

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

    Unknown severity

    Has Symptoms

    Urinating In House

    Fully potty trained, but. ingested Bromethalin six days ago. Emergency vet induced vomiting and administered charcoal. Acted fine all week, but today has been lethargic and peed in the house twice. Could this still be a result of the poison? The levels of the Bromethalin were very low in his blood.

    July 20, 2020

    Owner

    answer-icon

    Dr. Michele K. DVM

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    1 Recommendations

    Thank you for your question. That is a neurologic toxin, and can be quite serious, as I'm sure you are aware. If your puppy is lethargic and urinating in the house, it might be best to have a recheck with your veterinarian. They may want to recheck levels in the blood, or run some routine lab work to see what's going on. I would be concerned about that toxin lingering in the system, yes. I hope that everything goes well for your dog.

    July 20, 2020

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    Bo

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    Pointer mix

    dog-age-icon

    2 Years

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

    Mild severity

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    1 found helpful

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

    Mild severity

    Has Symptoms

    Tired And Lethargic

    Dog pooped something bright green so took him to emergency vet who was sure he had eaten a sachet of Warfarin based poison (we had put some down). Gave him 60ml of Vit K and 28 day supply of Vit K pills. He has been very lethargic ever since (3 days now) but appetite OK. Is this the effect of the poison still or a reaction to the Vitamin K? - Should also mention it is 30+ degrees here so that may also be affecting him.

    July 14, 2018

    Bo's Owner

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    Dr. Michele K. DVM

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    1 Recommendations

    Lethargy would not be a side effect of the medication, and may be due to the poisoning or the heat. If he does not continue to improve, it would be a good idea to have him rechecked by you veterinarian to make sure that he is okay.

    July 14, 2018

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    At

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    Mutt

    dog-age-icon

    1 Year

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

    Serious severity

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

    Serious severity

    Has Symptoms

    Poisoning

    Pup act an anticoagulant rat poison called the back went to the emergency vet within 12 hours of poisoning. We have been subscribed vitamin K1 for the month. She's been fine so far but is there anything I can do at home to help with the healing process. I have powder immunity strengthener in her food. Should I give her foods that are also high in vitman k? Any tips so I can increase her chances of avoiding clotting and death?

    June 17, 2018

    At's Owner

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    0 Recommendations

    You should continue with the vitamin K1 as prescribed by your Veterinarian which is normally enough if there are no signs of poisoning presenting; during and after the course of treatment, prothrombin time should be measured by your Veterinarian to ensure that blood is clotting the way it should do. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

    June 17, 2018

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    Lilly

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    Pit bull

    dog-age-icon

    8 Years

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    Critical severity

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    0 found helpful

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

    Critical severity

    Has Symptoms

    Blood In Urine
    Lethargy
    Weakness
    Pale Gums

    My 8 year old Pit mix ingested rat poison and has been given a vitamin K shot, 3 blood and plasma transfusions, and tons of IV fluids. When we took her in initially she wasn’t able to eat or even get up and walk. She had a low temp of 92, a low BP value, pale gums, and sensitive stomach. She was very weak and had blood pooling around her eye (that’s initially what we noticed with her condition) I’ve been told she is acting more alert and eating, her vitals are normal again but even after all the transfusions she is still not clotting how they want. What’s next? We are up to $4000 in a vet bill and I’m scared we can’t afford to keep doing the transfusions. Will anything work at this point? Is this normal?

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    Kasia

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    Siberian Husky

    dog-age-icon

    13 Years

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

    Moderate severity

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

    Moderate severity

    Has Symptoms

    Lethargy
    Thirsty
    Wobbly

    So I just returned from the vet, my dog collapsed today for no reason that we know of. She wouldnt get up and was only just responsive, she was wobbly on her legs, but drank water when i got her to a water bowl. The vet did scans and said her heart was fine, lungs fine, gas in intestines. Bloods came back only slight anaemia, and something wrong with her liver. He flooded her with IV fluid, and antibiotics and another drug to help her liver. He was unsure what could have caused it. When i was leaving he asked if she may have gotten in to some rat poison, but the last time she would have been near any would have been almost 4 weeks ago, surely it wouldnt have taken that long to show symptoms? I'm so confused....

    dog-name-icon

    Tiny

    dog-breed-icon

    chihuahua mix

    dog-age-icon

    1 Year

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

    Moderate severity

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    0 found helpful

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

    Moderate severity

    Has Symptoms

    Frequently Urinating

    My cheewinie mix tiny ate some dcon and we noticed after 2 hours since the trap was hidden until it was moved by the maintenance man. My husband noticed it was gone so he rushed her to the vet where they induced her to vomit which she did and also gave us IV fluids to give her here at home. She is acting normal with the same amount of energy she usually has and she does have an appetite. The only thing out of the ordinary is that she is peeing alot which may be the IV. It has already been over 24 hours since she ingested the poison....will she be ok? And how long would it take for other symptoms to show?

    dog-name-icon

    Bryson

    dog-breed-icon

    Siberian Husky

    dog-age-icon

    8 Years

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

    Fair severity

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    0 found helpful

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

    Fair severity

    Has Symptoms

    None

    Our Siberian Husky ingested Rat Poison last Tuesday. We immediately took him to the vet and they induced vomiting, gave him a Vitamin K shot, charcoal and gave us Vitamin K tablets for 1 month. We are going on vacation and need to get him vaccinated before boarding this Friday. Is it safe for him to get vaccinated 1 week after ingesting rat poison and being on vitamin K?

    dog-name-icon

    Betsy

    dog-breed-icon

    Beagle

    dog-age-icon

    3 Years

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

    Moderate severity

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    0 found helpful

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

    Moderate severity

    Has Symptoms

    Vomiting
    Vomiting Diarrhea
    Vomiting Diarrhea Lethargic

    My dog has been vomiting off and on the past 3 weeks only in the middle of the night/early morning, mostly just bile. She had a couple episodes of mucusy diarrhea with small streak of blood & has been a little more lethargic lately. Her X-ray was normal & all of her blood work was normal as well except a low platelet count. I fear that someone has been giving her small doses of rat poison (warfarin). Could the low platelet count with a normal RBC count, albumin & hematocrit be an indicator of that???

    Poisoning Due to Ingesting Rat Poison Average Cost

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

    Average Cost

    $8,000

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