While we’re normally well aware of the dangers of many of today’s household cleaners, toxins and poisons are sometimes right in plain sight. Rat poison is known for getting rid of infiltrating wall-pests. But, we don’t always consider the fact that dogs don’t read, and just because it says “rat poison,” it doesn’t mean that it works just for rats.
In fact, rat poison is renowned for containing arsenic, which is a highly toxic chemical to just about any creature that lives and breathes. Most rat poisons will also utilize a wide range of additional chemicals, most of which are designed to interfere with the blood’s ability to clot properly, basically functioning as a powerful blood thinner.
Dangers and risks
Timing is everything, but don’t ever wait to see if they’re going to be okay. When ingested, the poison may not act as quickly as you might think. It may take a large dog that has eaten a small dose a couple of days to really begin showing signs of toxicity. What makes it so dangerous is that rat poison does not easily vacate the body and can remain active for long periods of time while it slowly damages your dog’s body.
This is because the poison works by preventing the formation of vitamin K within the body, resulting in hemorrhaging and internal bleeding. While it is often almost immediately fatal for small rats, it can take a dog several days to succumb to the full effects.
Keep in mind that while dogs are known to simply eat poison directly, there is also the more elusive situation that many would not even consider. Rats will likely ingest the poison, but won’t necessarily stay still for your convenience. You may end up with a poisonous rodent anywhere inside your home. Due to the nature of rat poison, if your dog eats a poisoned rat or other rodent, they too will become poisoned. This can make it very difficult to diagnose or predict.
While the bright color of rat poison makes it clear to humans about the deadly contents, to dogs and even cats who lack sight in the full color spectrum, it can look just like a bowl of their regular dog food or even small treats. Because the poison is designed to trick rats into eating it, it is necessary to make it somewhat flavorful, which only incentivizes an unsuspecting dog into eating it. So just remember that while you know that it’s toxic, your dog is not normally capable of detecting the dangers of rat poison.
How to avoid poisonous situations
When laying out poison, do not let your dog wander in designated areas. If you’ve put down poison in the garage, don’t let your pup sniff around in there. Avoid laying poisons down within the household. When the situation demands, only place poisons inside of cabinets that can be secured with a latch or lock to prevent your dog from getting inside.
Consider using rat traps in conjunction with poison to help avoid any wandering poison carriers. This will help you locate rodent targets when it is time for clean-up.
Store any poison, even containers that are unopened, up in a high location where your dog has absolutely no access to it. Do not store them near food stuff, treats, or water sources where they can become moistened which may allow the poison to absorb into the surrounding material.
What to do in emergency
If you suspect your dog has consumed any amount of rat poison, get them to the vet immediately. When considering the digestive rate of a dog, the first two hours are extremely important and can greatly increase your dog’s recovery chances.
In extreme situations, it is possible to induce vomiting to get most of the poison out of their belly before it has time to pass into the intestines. This will lessen the threat but will not eliminate it completely.
Activated charcoal capsules are a handy addition to an emergency medical kit due to their absorbent nature. Ingesting the charcoal will help absorb the poisons within the intestines stopping them before they can do any more harm.
Most veterinarians will prescribe vitamin K shots to compensate while the vascular system recovers. Due to the nature of rat poison effects, it is extremely damaging to the heart and liver, which in life-threatening cases can lead to other medical conditions.
It is up to you as your dog’s loving owner to be cautious with any toxic chemicals in your home, for the sake of all your residents, both human and canine. Keep them up and far out of doggy curiosity levels and always be prepared with an emergency medical kit, just in case.
Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember. After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again. Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!