Rat poison can be found in many homes to keep pests and rodents away. Rodenticides, commonly called “rat poison”, are chemicals that are typically used to kill rats. Rodenticides can also be used to kill chipmunks, squirrels, voles, mice, woodchucks, and beavers. It is used anywhere there might be rodents. It could be inside the house, in the stables, in the garage, on the farm, in wildlife areas or parks, etc. They are easily accessible and come in different forms. Because of this, your furry friend has a higher chance of ingesting rat poison. 

How Does Rat Poison Work? 

Bromethalin is a common ingredient in most types of rat poison. It is a neurotoxin that induces swelling of the brain and causes tremors and paralysis to those that consume the poison. Other types of rat poison include anticoagulants such as bromadiolone, diphacinone, brodifacoum, and many others. These cause bleeding to occur, which may be life-threatening.  Cholecalciferol is an ingredient that causes high blood calcium to occur, which may result in kidney failure. Rat poison can be baited with food to entice rodents, but bait can entice your pets as well. 

Clinical Signs of Rat Poison Ingestion 

It’s important to monitor all pets and children when there is rat poison around the home. Pets could be intrigued by the smell and try to lick it. Pets can be poisoned if they eat a rat that consumed rat poison. If you find a deceased animal around your property, make sure to properly dispose of it. The symptoms of rat poison ingestion can take less than one day, up to several days to manifest. Common symptoms of rat poison ingestion include: 

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

Treatment for Rat Poison Ingestion  

If you suspect your pet consumed rat poison, take your pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your pet can experience high-risk symptoms and will need medical attention. Your vet will be able to administer the correct medication needed. The veterinarian will administer IV fluids to address dehydration and anti-seizure medications if your pet is seizing. Your pet may receive vitamin K to address potential internal bleeding depending on the active ingredient ingested. Call Pet Poison Helpline®, at (855) 764-7661, for additional guidelines on rat poison concerns.