Pictured: Strychnine

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally severe and/or fatal

Common signs to watch for:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Drooling
  • Severe seizures and tremors
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Acute death

Strychnine is a very dangerous rodenticide used to intentionally kill gophers, ground squirrels, and even larger mammals (e.g., coyotes, wolves, etc.). While strychnine is supposed to be used below-ground (e.g., buried), it is sometimes used to maliciously poison dogs. It is found in a treated, colored (green, pink, etc.) seed or pellet in a 0.5% concentration. Strychnine is very rapidly absorbed from the stomach, and can result in clinical signs within 15 minutes to 2 hours. As little as a few tablespoons of strychinine-laced bait can cause poisoning. Clinical signs include nervousness, anxiety, drooling, severe seizures and tremors, elevated body temperature, and acute death. Aggressive and prompt treatment by a veterinarian is imperative for survival.

Poison type: garage_items

Alternate names: Strychnos, prairie dog poison, gopher poison, poisoned meatball