RAT BAITS & YOUR PETS

Rat-Baits-and-your-pets

RAT BAITS & YOUR PETS

Rat-Baits-and-your-pets

Anticoagulant rodenticides (commonly known as rat and mouse baits) are the most common poison that the Animal Poisons Helpline is phoned about. They are available in Australia and New Zealand as wax blocks and pellets. These poisons work by interfering with the activation of vitamin K, which is required to produce numerous clotting factors. With a lack of clotting factors, the blood cannot effectively clot and this results in uncontrolled bleeding and death in the rodent.

These products are frequently formulated in grain-based baits which are intended to attract rodents. Unfortunately dogs are also attracted to these baits and will often eat large quantities if given a chance to do so. Companion animals that ingest these baits can also be at risk of life-threatening bleeding. The risk of poisoning following the ingestion of these baits is highly dependent on the type and dose of anticoagulant ingested and well as the weight of the animal.

Signs of poisoning from anticoagulant rodenticides are typically delayed by at least several days and can vary significantly depending on the site and extent of the bleeding. The initial lack of clinical signs may provide false reassurance to pet owners prior to the onset of life-threatening bleeding. It is for this reason that you should never wait for signs to appear before seeking professional advice from a veterinarian or the Animal Poisons Helpline. Following a toxic ingestion of these baits, early veterinary treatment is often life-saving.

The Animal Poisons Helpline provides free advice to pet owners in Australia and New Zealand and can be reached on ☎️1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ). If you don’t already follow the Animal Poisons Helpline Facebook Page, follow now to receive live animal poisons alerts and updates. If you are a member of a veterinary team in Australia or New Zealand, you can join the Animal Poisons Centre For Vets Facebook group which is regularly updated with toxicology tidbits and poisoning trends. We thank the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for supporting this post.