03 Jun Your Dog & Rat Bait
Calls to the Animal Poisons Centre regarding dogs that have ingested rat-baits are very common. In the first quarter of 2020, brodifacoum (a long-acting highly potent anticoagulant rodenticide) was the most common poison that we were called about.
Most domestic rat and mouse baits available in Australia and New Zealand contain anticoagulants which prevent the blood from clotting. The bittering agents which are added to many of the baits do not seem to prevent dogs from eating them.
Dogs that ingest these baits may be at risk of bleeding, which can be life-threatening. The risk of poisoning will depend on the active ingredient in the bait, the amount of bait ingested and the weight of your dog. It is certainly very possible for dogs to become poisoned after ingesting a standard quantity of bait that is laid out for rodent control. Cats rarely eat rodenticides due to their more selective eating habits.
After eating these baits, animals often remain without symptoms for many days before developing potentially life-threatening bleeding. This can provide a false sense of reassurance to the owner that their pet will be OK. In the case of any ingestion, immediate professional advice (from the Animal Poisons Centre or your veterinarian) is therefore required.
If you have a pet and are using rodenticides in or around your property, please ensure that they are ALWAYS kept out of reach. If you do not currently have a pet, do not forget to remove any accessible baits on your property if you have pets visiting your house.
If your pet has ingested any rodenticide, EVEN IF YOUR PET IS COMPLETELY WELL, please call the Animal Poisons Centre on 1300 869 738 (in Australia) or 0800 869 738 (in New Zealand). Our service is free for all pet owners.