Rat Bait Poisoning in Pets

Have you experienced the frustration of rat infestation?

One of the most common ways people try and kill rats is through rat poisoning. However, this method is extremely dangerous for your pets. All too often, our hospital treats animals that have suffered from the ingesting toxic amounts. We have treated multiple cases all relating to poisonous rat bait.

So what makes these chemicals used in rat bait so dangerous for your dogs and cats? Here are some active ingredients that are toxic for your animals and can be found in rat poisonings as well as the side effects that may occur according to Pet Health Network:

ACR (Anticoagulant rodenticides)

These inhibit the production of Vitamin-K dependent blood clotting factors. If dogs or cats ingest this in toxic amounts, it can result in internal bleeding. Clinical signs may not take affect for up to 5 days. Your pets may show some of these symptoms:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Vomiting with blood
  • Pale or bleeding gums
  • Bloody nose
  • Swelling or bumps on skin

Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)

This can lead to an increased amount of calcium in the body which can lead to kidney failure. Your pet may show clinical sings of:

  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy/ Weakness
  • Kidney Failure
  • Decreased or Increased thirst/ urination
  • Halitosis
  • Tremors


This chemical poisons the central nervous system and causes brain swelling. It can be found in many different rat poisons. Recently, one of our patients suffered from cerebral edema due to the rat poisoning, which causes swelling in the brain by the presence of excessive fluid. Common symptoms and types include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Impaired Movement
  • Slight muscle tremors and generalized seizures.
  • In extreme cases, there can be sudden onset of muscle tremors or seizures. Toxic doses can be seen at dogs specifically at 2.5 mg

Not only is rat poisoning dangerous for pets, but it can have severe effects on wildlife as well. We see a lot of different wildlife at our practice. The piousness substances from the rat bait do not necessarily cause the rats to die right away. In many cases, it can take up to a week to become fatal, and during this time rats can become extremely sluggish making them more vulnerable for predators.

There are other methods of extermination of these rodents. One of the most effective ways is through trapping. Whatever your opinion may be on the use of traps, it is a much safer alternative for the health of your pets.

It is so important to keep these piousness baits as far away from your pets as possible! Too often do we treat animals for this reason. However, if it is accidentally ingested by your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately. The sooner you are able notice symptoms and get treatment for your pet, the less problems you and your pet will face!

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