Rat Bait Poisoning in Pets

It’s important to be informed of the risks associated with rat bait poisoning in pets. Rodents in and around your home can carry diseases and bacteria that pose a risk to us and our four-legged friends, and to address that, rat poison is often used as an effective way to control rodent populations. Rat bait poisoning in cats and dogs occurs when they consume rodenticide, and unfortunately, just a small amount of this poison can be deadly for our pets. Continue reading to learn more about how our beloved pets might be affected by these poisons and what steps you can take to protect them from harm.

How Does Rat Poison Work?

Rat poison is composed of various harmful substances that can have serious effects on those who consume it. One commonly used neurotoxin found in rat poison is bromethalin, which can cause brain swelling, tremors, and paralysis. Certain types of rat poison contain anticoagulants like bromadiolone, diphacinone, and brodifacoum, which can cause severe bleeding. The ingredient, cholecalciferol, present in some rat poisons, can result in high blood calcium levels and kidney failure. Typically, rat poison is mixed with enticing food to attract rodents, but this can also lure pets, making it crucial to take precautions and store it securely. Pets may accidentally encounter rat poison by either directly consuming it or eating a poisoned rodent. Ingesting rat poison can have severe consequences on pets, posing a significant danger to their health and well-being. The dangers associated with pets ingesting rat poison can vary depending on the type and amount of poison consumed, as well as the size and overall health of your pet.

Symptoms of Rat Poison Ingestion

Keeping a vigilant eye on pets is crucial when there is rat poison in your home as they might be lured by its smell and try to lick it. Interacting with the poisoning itself or eating a rodent that has ingested the poison can lead to toxicity. It is important to dispose of dead animals on your property before your pet makes contact with them. Symptoms of rat poison ingestion may develop and become noticeable one day after consumption or can even take several days to show. Common clinical signs of rat poison ingestion include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Coma
  • Kidney failure
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea


If your pet has ingested rat poison, you must contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for life-saving aid. Your pet is in severe danger, so you must transport them to the veterinary clinic immediately. Your veterinarian will administer IV fluids to combat dehydration and anti-seizure medications will be given if needed. Depending on the dosage and type of poison ingested, your pet may receive vitamin K to address internal bleeding. Specific treatment measures and medications will be dependent on the poison consumed and the dosage. If you have further questions, please contact Pet Poison Helpline today to ease your concerns.