Fall is a great time of year. Leaves change into shades of orange, red, yellow and brown. It is fun to sit around a campfire roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. The farmers are busy harvesting their fields of soybeans and corn. This, unfortunately, causes the little furry rodents to move into our garages and houses. None of us enjoy those little critters invading our space and belongings. If you have a cat or dog it is important to be cautious when eliminating these pesky rodents.
Here at the Celina Animal Hospital we recommend putting out bait that is non-toxic to your pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested any type of rat poisoning it is very important to contact your veterinarian immediately. Clinical signs of poisoning usually develops within two to seven days after ingesting. It can sometimes take up to two weeks for the pet to show signs. Signs can include the following: loss of appetite, anorexia, impaired movement, paralysis of the animal's hind limbs, slight muscle tremors generalized seizures, and a depression of the central nervous system.
One of the common agents used in rat and mice poisons is an anticoagulant. The purpose of an anticoagulant is to prevent the clotting of blood. When our pets ingest this, spontaneous and uncontrolled bleeding will occur. Signs of ingestion of the anticoagulant rodenticide can include the following: lethargy, difficulty breathing, pale gums, coughing (especially blood), vomiting (with blood), bloody nose, swelling or lumps on the skin, and bleeding from the gums. Left untreated the end result can be death.
Dogs and cats may not show signs of poisoning for several days, but they will become weak and pale due to blood loss. Suffering from unseen internal bleeding, bleeding into the chest or abdomen, is fatal if not diagnosed in time.
Secondary exposure can occur when a dog or cat eats a rodent who has ingested the poison. A rodent does not die immediately, but becomes easy prey for a dog or cat. When the pet ingests the rodent, he also ingests the toxin.
If your animal has been exposed to a poison treatment can include large doses of Vitamin K to help restore the blood's ability to clot. IV fluids and blood transfusions may also be administered to dogs suffering from anticoagulant chemicals. Vomiting may be induced if too much time has not passed. Activated charcoal may also be given orally within 12 hours after ingestion of poison to absorb any of the toxin that may still be in the intestine.
If you suspect your pet may be a victim of poison, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
The doctor will probably want to see your pet as soon as possible. Bring the container or label of the suspected poison with you to the appointment. Eliminating poisons from your pet's environment will prove to be beneficial to them. Quick action if a poisoning has occurred can save your pet's life!