Beware of the rat bait!

Winter can be a difficult period in the fight against rodents! While many of us use rat poison to combat these pets, these poisons can affect other furry friends including cats, dogs and other household pets. Whether they ingest rat bait directly or indirectly by ingesting another rodent, if your pet ingests this poison, there are many steps you can take to ensure your pet is protected.

Rat bait acts as an anticoagulant (prevents the blood from clotting) by depleting the body's supply of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin which is essential in the formation of clotting agents in the blood stream. It can take anywhere between 1-5 days after ingestion to begin to see the signs of intoxication, but once the signs become prevalent, it’s important to act fast!

If you see your pet eating rat bait, it is extremely important to bring them straight to our clinic. If you are unable to visit, please ring us for advice on how to treat your pet immediately. If you haven't seen your pet ingest rat bait but notice signs that may relate to ingestion, they should still be brought into our clinic as soon as possible. If you have a box of the rat bait please bring this in with you or find out the name and active ingredients to assist with the treatment of your furry friends!

The effects on pets who have consumed rat bait varies based on which rat bait was ingested, how long ago it was ingested and how much was eaten. Treatment is also based on the severity of the toxicity and timing of ingestion. Your pet may need to have blood taken for clotting tests and for assessment of anaemia. Treatment may be as simple as giving vitamin K tablets for 3-6 weeks or may require more intensive treatment such as blood transfusions and hospitalisation. In some cases even with the most intensive treatment, if action is not taken quickly some ingestion cases can be fatal.

If you suspect your pet has eaten rat bait, please bring your pet into our clinic immediately and speak to our friendly team about the best ways to keep your furry friend safe from rat bait!