Most people are aware that common rodenticides (rat bait) are poisonous not only to rats but also any other animal which consumes them including our pets. Even small quantities can kill. But did you know that the rodenticides can take 2-7 days from ingestion until the first signs of toxicity.

Most rodenticides are tasty and animals will seek them out even if tucked away in the corner of a shed or garage. The granules are dyed blue, green or pink for easy identification. Most rodenticides are anticoagulants which interfere with the body’s ability to produce clotting factors. These factors plug holes in leaking blood vessels, without these the body begins to bleed, often internally. Symptoms such as depression, shortness of breath, bleeding gums or bloody diarrhoea can take several days to appear. Don’t assume that because there are no symptoms the dog has had a lucky escape!

If an animal has been seen eating rodenticides or you are even suspicious, it is ESSENTIAL that you call your vet immediately. Your vet will inject your pet to make the pet vomit removing the toxin from the body. Even if it’s too late to make your dog sick Vit K tablets can be given as an antidote. Seeing the pink or blue granules in the faeces is a warning sign. Prompt action can save your dog’s life!

Prevention is better than cure though, if you must use rodenticides then store them in locked containers away from pets, when put out to bait rats keep the bait in areas which are inaccessible to curious paws and mouths, and where possible find non-toxic forms of rodent control.

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