Rat bait toxicity is one of the most common causes of pet poisonings. Most rat and mouse bait products are anti-coagulants; they function by causing uncontrolled bleeding. The products are designed to be tasty to encourage the rodents to eat them. This means they are also attractive to your pet. Even if you have bait in an inaccessible place for your pet, rodents can carry and drop the bait, allowing access to your pet.
Only a very small amount of bait (sometimes less than a gram) is required to cause toxicity. It can take between 2 and 5 days after eating the bait for symptoms to develop. At this stage your pet is at risk of bleeding to death
- Lethargy, collapse
- Pale or white gum colour
- Bleeding from the nose or mouth, bleeding around the teeth
- Panting, coughing
- Distended abdomen
- Bruises in the mouth or on the skin.
- Swollen joints
If you suspect your pet has ingested a rodent poison, seek veterinary attention immediately as you can avoid problems if the toxin is removed.
What to expect at the vet
If ingestion has been in the last 12-24 hours:
- Medication to cause vomiting
- Charcoal solution to prevent further absorption of the toxin
- Advice to get a blood test taken approximately 2 to 3 days after toxin ingestion
If ingestion has been 2 – 5 days ago:
- Blood tests to assess clotting status of the blood and if your pet is bleeding, to assess extent of blood loss
- Vitamin K1 injections and oral tablets to help with the production of clotting proteins in the body
- Oxygen therapy if your pet has breathing problems
- IV fluids to support blood pressure
- Blood and plasma transfusions in severe cases
- In some cases when the lungs fill with blood, your pet may require mechanical ventilation to support their breathing
Most of the patients who are treated hours after ingestion do not go on to develop bleeding problems. In these cases a blood test will be recommended at a later date to confirm that they have not been affected by the toxin.
Those patients who are already showing signs of bleeding abnormalities can have successful recoveries if treated promptly – severe cases may require several days of hospitalisation for blood transfusions and supportive care. Unfortunately, if a pet is actively bleeding from this poison (internally or externally), they are unlikely to survive without appropriate care.
Bruising can be difficult to find below fur. Sometimes it can be seen more easily on the thinly haired abdoment. Your veterinarian may need to shave your pet's fur to see this.
WA Emergency Vets - Donate Blood ...
Career Opportunities At PVE
Veterinary Career Opportunity
Found A Baby Bird?
Restraining Dogs In Cars
What Is Vestibular Disease In Pets?
Can I Give My Dog Panadol?
Garfield Wounded From A Cat Fight
Cats With Cat Fight Wounds
Cats Wanted For the PVE Blood Don...
Emergency Planning For Perth’s ...
The Patients Of Perth Vet Emergency
Dogs And New Years Eve Fireworks
Lucky The Golden Retriever Was Lu...
Chihuahua Visits PVE With A Close...
Corneal Ulcers In Pets
Bernie Treated For Rat Bait Poiso...
Rottweiler Visits Emergency After...
Grape, Sultana And Raisin Toxicit...
Patient Testimonials 2016
Cat Owner Articles
Penis Injuries In Dogs
How To Give Ear Medication To You...
Dogs Afraid Of Thunder
Kidney Stones In Pets
Lilies Are Very Toxic To Cats
Dogs That Can’t Swim
Brachycephalic Dogs And Cats
Stray Cat Reunited With Owner
Antifreeze Toxicity And Pets
Kidney Failure In Pets
Red Heeler Presents With Kidney F...
Blood Donors Save Newfoundland’...
How To Bottle Feed A Kitten
What Is Pet Ventilation?
Some Fun With Our Pet Census 2016
Possum Needs Veterinary Help Afte...
After Hours Veterinarians In Perth
Lithium Batteries Are Very Danger...
What Is A Pet Ultrasound?
Does My Rabbit Have GI Stasis?
GI Stasis Troubles A Dwarf Lop R...
Siberian Husky Has A Stomach Full...
Bronson Saves Pets Lives By Donat...
Patient Testimonial: Beccy Moreton
How To Perform CPR
Heat Stroke - The Symptoms In Pets
Pets And Toxins
Rat Bait Is Very Dangerous For Pets
What To Do If Your Dog Has A Bloa...
Pets Eyes And Medical Emergencies
Stick Injuries And Pets
My Pet Is Vomiting
Broken Legs Or Penetrating Wounds
What To Do If Your Pet Drinks Sea...
My Pet Has Eaten Chocolate
Pet Has Eaten Snail Pellets
My Pet Is Having A Seizure
Pets With Head Traumas
What To Do If Your Pet Nearly Dro...
My Pet Has Eaten A Blowfish
Pets Bitten By Snakes
Pets With Insect Bites Or Stings
Advice For Pets Having Trouble Gi...
Whelping Dogs And Milk Fever
Cat Twitching After Flea Treatment
A Small List Of Non Toxic Plants ...
Transporting Your Sick Or Injured...
Pet Trauma Symptoms And Advice
Thanks For Completing Pet Census ...