Rat bait is designed to kill rats and mice, but it can also be deadly if eaten by your pets. Dogs may see rat bait as a smelly/tasty treat that has been left within their reach. Meanwhile, cats (in particular) may eat rodents that have recently been poisoned.
Poisoning with rat bait can cause your pet’s body to run out of vitamin K which normally helps to form clotting factors in the blood. This means that your pet’s blood will not be able to clot so even a small wound or bruise (internal bleed) could be life-threatening.
It is important to remember that signs of poisoning can take several days to appear after your pet has eaten rat bait. Owners often do not see their pets eat the bait, so it is important to check your pets regularly for signs, particularly if rat bait is being used on your property or surrounding properties.
What to look for:
Continued bleeding from wounds or gums
Increased breathing rate
If you suspect that your pet has eaten rat bait (or a poisoned rodent), please call us immediately – 08 8532 2333 24 hours.
Generally, a veterinarian will take a blood sample to test the clotting factors in the blood. Treatment will depend on several factors, including how long it has been since the bait was eaten and how much was eaten. Treatment may vary from stimulating vomiting to replacing the lost vitamin K, hospitalisation and/or blood transfusions.
To prevent poisoning make sure that any rat baits are placed in areas where your pets can’t access them, dispose of any dead rodents that you see, or use traps instead.