Ingestion of rat poison by pets, most commonly dogs, may happen if the rat poison is not stored correctly. The rat poison will thin the animals blood so that it does not clot leading to the pet being prone to bleeding. This is especially dangerous when bleeding occurs into the lungs, brain or around the heart. It may also be fatal if large volumes of blood are lost.
Treatment of pets that are not actively bleeding involves giving vitamin K supplements to prevent the thinning of the blood. If caught soon after exposure, vomiting may be induced to limit absorption of the rat poison.
In animals with active bleeding, admission to hospital is required. Most dogs will need one or more blood or plasma transfusions and intensive treatment for several days (or weeks in severe cases). Costs can escalate in these cases- please discuss potential costs with the attending veterinarian.
Please adhere to these guidelines for pets that are sent home after eating rat poison:
• Any remaining rat poison, including that in the vomit, must be cleared away and disposed of appropriately.
• Dosing of the vitamin K must be as instructed and directly after food.
• Should your dog have any of the following symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately or take your pet to the veterinarian:
o Blood blisters
o Increased breathing rate or effort
o Blood in stools
o Pale gums
• Symptoms may occur up to 4 weeks after the exposure so please continue treatment and monitoring.