National Poison Prevention Week: Mouse/Rat Poisons

It’s National Poison Prevention Week, so I am writing special blog posts about common household toxins to your pets!

Rodent poison is scary stuff! There are many different kinds of poisons available for sale and only one of them truly has a cure making this one of the scariest toxins I’m covering this week.

If you feel that you have a need to put rodent poison in your living environment, the only kind of rodent poison that should be used is warfarin based poison.

Warfarin overdose works by causing excessive bleeding in the body because it is no longer able to clot blood. The abdomen and chest can fill with blood and the gastrointestinal tract can bleed excessively causing the target of warfarin to bleed out to death.

Treatment for this type of poison can vary, just like other poisons, based on whether or not the dog or cat is clinical for symptoms. Most of the time, this poison is reversible making it “safer” to use than other rodent poisons which are not.

Let’s say a dog arrives at an animal hospital shortly after known warfarin rodent poison ingestion. Vomiting can be induced, activated charcoal administered, outpatient treatment with vitamin K and monitoring of clotting times with period blood work. Generally, these patients have an extremely favorable opportunity for survival.

Let’s say a dog arrives at an animal hospital a day or two after known ingestion of warfarin rodent poison, xrays should be taken to look for bleeding into body cavities, a blood transfusion may be necessary, hospitalization with IV fluids, vitamin K administration, and monitoring of clotting times and concentration of red blood cells in the body to gauge prognosis. These patients are considered more critical as the poison had time to absorb into their body and cause clinical signs.

With any toxic ingestion, it is always recommended to bring your pet to an animal hospital as soon as possible as a delay in treatment time can cost an animal their life.

Great care should be taken when keeping toxic substances in your home. Be sure to lock away toxic items to your pets just as if they were your children. Safety and prevention is our number one concern during National Poison Prevention Week!

If you have any questions that weren’t answered about this or any other toxin, please post it below.

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