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Our posts are written by experienced veterinarians and feature topics such as pet health, nutrition, and behavior. Our blog posts are designed to help pet owners keep their pets healthy and happy.

What do I do if my dog or cat gets into rat poison?

Dogs and cats are just as susceptible to rodenticide as rodents. If your dog or cat has ingested rodenticide, or if you even suspect that they have ingested rodenticide, this is an emergency, and your pet needs to be seen right away.


There are two major categories of rodenticides, one is a neurologic toxin (active ingredient bromethalin) and the other are anticoagulant toxins (multiple active ingredients). The neurologic toxin unfortunately does not have a simple antidote and your pet will need intensive decontamination, supportive care, and monitoring with potential life-threatening side effects. The anticoagulant toxins cause bleeding; however, the bleeding may not be obvious for several days and sometimes goes undetected until your pet is very ill. Bloodwork and coagulation testing will be recommended at the ER, along with decontamination procedures, supportive care, and if severe enough a blood transfusion.

Tick on a hand

If possible, we recommend avoiding the purchase of these products as they also have broader consequences for wild animals and endangered species. If you purchase these products, read about the active ingredient, or keep the packaging. Consider traditional mouse traps or humane traps to keep toxins out of the house and away from your pets.


Remember that even if you think your pet did not have access to the bait, rodents will move and store food in various places around the house, leading to possible access for your pets.

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