What to Do if Your Pet Eats Mouse Poison

As we’re about to enter March, which is Poison Prevention Month, we thought it would be a great time to discuss a very serious topic: rodenticide poisoning in pets. Homeowners often use rat or mouse poison to control pests, but the deadly chemicals these poisons contain can pose a significant threat to our beloved pets. In this post, we’ll cover the signs and symptoms to watch out for and what to do if you suspect your pet has ingested rodent poison. Read on to learn how you can protect your furry family members.

Please know that there are several types of rodenticides. Anticoagulant rodenticides interfere with blood clotting and are the most frequent cause of poisoning in pets. It is more common for rodenticides to contain a nonanticoagulant rodenticide, bromethalin, nowadays, but this can still harm your pets and it is extremely important to keep it away from your pets either way. Pets can also be poisoned by other pesticides, so as a rule of thumb all of these products should be stored in a safe area.

If your pet has ingested rat poison, they may display a variety of alarming symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Vomiting or coughing blood
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Bloody stools
  • Breathing difficulties

It is important that you see your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested rodenticide, even if they are still acting normal.

The effects of rat or mouse poison in pets can be extremely severe and potentially fatal. These poisons are designed to kill rodents by causing internal bleeding, and they can have the same effect on your pets. Symptoms may not appear until several days after ingestion, which can make it harder to connect the symptoms to the poison. If left untreated, the poison can cause significant internal damage and lead to death. Your pet’s symptoms may not appear until 3-5 days after ingestion, so it’s vital that you call your vet immediately and ensure that your pet receives treatment as soon as they begin to display symptoms.

If your pet has ingested poison, your vet will want to know as much information as possible to identify the type of poison and decide the best treatment. If you can, take note of the following information to tell your veterinarian:

  • Your pet’s weight
  • The day and time of exposure
  • Brand name and manufacturer of poison
  • Package size
  • Approximately how much is missing from the pack
  • Take the packaging with you if possible

The effect rat poisoning can have on pets often depends on the type of poison and the amount consumed. Some poisons are formulated to work gradually after multiple feedings, while others will poison rodents (and other animals) after just one dose. If we suspect rat poisoning, we will likely induce vomiting, administer charcoal treatment, and prescribe vitamin K. We will often follow up with another visit to conduct a blood clotting test after the initial treatment is administered.

Also, if your cat or dog ate a rodent that’s been poisoned itself, it’s always possible your pet could suffer from what we call ‘secondary rat poisoning.’ Veterinarians often recommend homeowners use traps instead of poison if they have pets living with them. If this occurs, your pet will display the same symptoms as above. If you notice any of these symptoms or suspect your pet has eaten a poisoned rodent, please call us immediately.

While rodent poisons are effective for pest control, they pose a significant risk to our pets. As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to be aware of the danger and know the signs of poisoning. Always keep such substances out of reach of pets, or better yet, consider other pest control methods if you share your home with a furry friend. At the first sign of distress, act immediately—your prompt response could save your pet’s life. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Stay vigilant and keep your pets safe. We know this information can be alarming. When in doubt, please call us at our phone number right away if you have any concerns!