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Treatment for Dogs that Eat Rat Poison
If your dog consumes rat poison, whether it be direct or indirect, it is important to act fast. Even though symptoms may not show for up to 24 hours, you should still follow proper procedures to prevent your dog from serious illness which could lead to death.
The very first thing you should do is to call the Animal Poison Control hotline at 888-426-4435.
Be sure to tell them exactly what happened with your dog’s case of rat poison. They will give you the best advice for his poisoning.
There should be no waiting game when it comes to rat poison. Always take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Bring the rat poison with you if you can so your veterinarian can begin proper treatment right away.
This is usually recommended if you cannot get to a veterinarian right away. It is important to note that you should not give your dog food or water right after. Vomiting should be induced before an hour of ingestion.
Be aware that inducing vomiting at home may cause a bit of damage to your dog’s esophagus. Table salt may react with rat poison and burn your dog’s throat. The Animal Control hotline can help you decide which is best for inducing vomit.
Some ways to induce vomiting include:
- Hydrogen peroxide (one tablespoon per 10 pounds)
- Table salt
Do NOT induce vomiting if you notice any of the following signs:
- Slow heart rate
- Stomach is bloated or swollen
- Abnormal breathing
Rat poison depletes the body of vitamin K, causing the blood to stop clotting which can lead to fatal internal bleeding. Vitamin K produces a protein called prothrombin that is used in the blood clotting process.
Once you get your dog to the emergency vet, he will likely start treatment of vitamin K. Vitamin K works by reversing the effects of rat poison in your dog’s system.
Vitamin K is usually given as an injection, but then may be continued orally to ensure full recovery. Treatment can take anywhere from a week up to a month, depending on the poisoning.
Activated charcoal is usually given by the veterinarian to help prevent absorption of the rat poison. This must be done less than twelve hours of ingestion. If you cannot get to a veterinarian right away, you can find activated charcoal at your local health food stores.
Give your dog activated charcoal after you have induced vomiting. Activated charcoal works by absorbing the chemicals in the stomach and intestines. It has been known to reduce the poisons by 60%.
Please note that you cannot give your dog regular charcoal.
In More Serious Cases
Sometimes your dog’s poisoning can be very serious and Vitamin K and charcoal methods may not be sufficient.
Some emergency procedures may include plasma transfusions to slow and stop internal bleeding. Your dog may be placed on intravenous fluids as well.