Secondary Rodenticide Poisoning

Secondary Rodenticide Poisoning

Can my pet get poisoned from eating a poisoned rat or mouse?

This is a question we get asked a lot and the answer depends on the situation. If a rat or mouse has died from an anti-coagulant rodenticide (e.g. brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, etc), it is likely that small amounts of the poison could still remain in the rodent’s gastrointestinal tract and liver.

If your dog or cat eats a single poisoned rat or mouse, they are unlikely to consume enough of the poison to cause a problem. However if your pet is repeatedly eating poisoned rodents, it is possible for your pet to become affected. Your pet may also be more susceptible to the poison if they have a poor functioning liver or are on certain medications.

This is called “relay toxicosis”, where an animal gets poisoned through the ingestion of another animal that has died from a poison. Sadly, it is common for wild predatory birds to develop relay toxicosis and it has been reported in farm cats.

If your pet has ingested a mouse or rat that you think has been poisoned, please call the Animal Poisons Centre for advice on what to do next. The service is free for all pet owners: 1300 869 738 (in Australia) or 0800 869 738 (in New Zealand).