The team at Familypet Vet have seen an increase the number of animals suffering from rat bait intoxication recently in the Adelaaide area. We suspect this is because of the increase in mouse numbers, and so more baits are being laid.
Rat baits can contain any number of different poisons but most work by reducing clotting factors in the blood. So without thes factors the blood can’t clot and bleeding occurs which can be fatal. This poison is not species specific so this could happen to your cat or dog as well.
Dogs and cats can either be affected by eating the bait itself, or by eating mice or rats who have consumed rat bait. Symptoms usually take a couple of days to present themselves and include being more subdued than usual, pale or white gum colour, trouble breathing or unusual bruizing and bleeding.
The good news is that rat bait intoxication can be treated. If you see your pet eating bait, we can induce vomiting soon after at the veterinary clinic so that little of the bait is absorbed, and further treatment may not be required. If further treatment is required, vitamin K can be given by injection and tablet form for several weeks to help blood clotting while the toxin is in your pet’s system. The duration of vitamin K treatment depends on the active ingredient in the rat bait used, it can vary from a week to several weeks.