Ask Seth: Rat Poison and Dogs

I think my dog ate rat poison. I don't think he ate much. What should I do?


Rat poison in dogs is deadly.  There are three types of toxins in the poison and all are deadly in their on way.  Remember, that is what they are designed to do. 

The most common type of rat poison used is an anticoagulant poison. This prevents blood from clotting by decreasing the body’s amount of usable Vitamin K1, which is essential  in clotting, meaning that pets that eat this toxin cannot clot their blood properly. After  2-3 days post-ingestion, pets can start to bleed from their gums and their gastrointestinal tract, and they can bleed into body cavities such as the chest, abdomen or joints. You might see blood in your pet’s mouth, bruising, bloody vomit or stool, difficulty breathing or an enlarged abdomen. Testing often involves evaluating your pet’s clotting times, and treatment at this stage frequently involves a hospital stay, IV fluids, intensive care, and plasma or blood transfusions. When treatment is started soon after ingestion, most patients recover very well, so getting your pet to the animal hospital quickly is extremely important.

Another toxin is cholecalciferol, which increases the amount of calcium in the body, resulting in deposits on organs and causing organ dysfunction, including kidney failure. Vague symptoms, including depression, anorexia, vomiting, and increased drinking and urinating, may be seen 1-2 days after ingestion.  Again, early vet visits and treatments will allow for the best prognosis.

The last one is bromethalin poisoning, which causes neurologic signs, disorientation or stumbling, tremors, and paralysis, and a pet that has ingested this toxin may start to show signs 10-24 hours after ingestion — but the symptoms can progress for 1 to 2 weeks.  Early vet visits and treatments will allow for the best prognosis. 

Your veterinarian will assess your animal and determine the best treatment options for your animal.

Share this important article with your friends that have pets in their family!

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Catherine says:

    I know this first hand. My daschund got into some rat poison in the barn. It is sweet tasking I am told. She started getting bloody gums and blood in her eyes. I got her to the vet just in time for an antidote. Very very serious, and time is of the essence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *