Rat Poison

I suspect that my dog ingested rat poison in our basement yesterday. Can you advise me on what to do?

When a pet ingests rat poison it can be a serious and life threatening emergency. Unfortunately, it is not unusual. Rat poison or rodenticides taste good and are often placed in locations accessible to pets.

If your pet ingests a rodenticide like d-con, you probably won’t see any symptoms until 2-3 days after ingestion. Common symptoms include: weakness, pale or blotchy mucus membranes, bloody nose, and sometimes bloody urine or stool. If you suspect your pet has ingested a rodenticide, contact your veterinarian immediately. It is extremely helpful if you know which type of rodenticide your pet ingested, as some do not have antidotes. If possible bring the rodenticide box with you to your vet.

Many rodenticides are anticoagulants, which slow the clotting of the blood. When ingested, these anticoagulants concentrate in the liver, where they interfere with clotting factors. If the patient recently ingested the poison, he or she may be made to vomit it up. It is always prudent to use an antidote, Vitamin K. Injections and oral formulations are both used. These tablets can be prescribed by your veterinarian.

Helpful Tips

  • In your pet recently ingested rat poison you should call you Veterinarian immediately and follow instructions to induce vomiting.
  • Refrain from using rodenticides in your house; there are other effective methods for reducing rodents in your home.
  • When you bring your pet over to your friends’ homes, ask them if they use rat poison. Also be careful when moving into new homes or apartments.
  • Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested rat poison.


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