About Rat Poison Treatment

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About Rat Poison Treatment
Rat poisoning can result in death of an animal if not treated immediately (dog image by Trav from Fotolia.com)

Widely available at markets, home improvement stores and garden supply centres, rat poison poses a serious threat to both domestic animals and wildlife. Dogs and cats can become poisoned by rat poisoning when they directly eat the poison due to the fact they mistake it for food or when they consume a dead or dying rodent that has consumed the poison. Ingestion of rat poison can prove lethal. Only anticoagulant rat poisons have a treatment plan, bromethalin-based poisons have no cure, according to Camino Animal Clinic.

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Effects

Rodenticides containing brodifacoum kill by disabling the blood's ability to clot. The poisoned animal bleeds to death through its internal organs. Symptoms do not begin for several days, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. Poisoning from rodenticides containing bromethalin begins from two to seven days after ingestion. Symptoms include loss of appetite, paralysis of the hindquarters, seizures and muscle tremors. Death normally results from an elevation in cerebrospinal fluid, which results in cerebral oedema.

Bromethalin Care

No cure exists for bromethalin-based rat poisoning but supportive care can be offered which might enable the pet to live if caught early. As soon as poisoning is suspected the veterinarian will immediately induce vomiting followed by activated charcoal to help absorb the poison from the digestive tract. Immediate evacuation of the dog's bowels is also required. Every four to six hours the care needs to be repeated for several days, according to Pet MD. Veterinarians will administer medications to help control the seizures suffered by the animal. Dogs poisoned with bromethalin-based rat poisoning show no signs of bleeding, unlike the symptoms of brodifacoum-based poison.

Bromethalin Follow-up Care

If the animal survives bromethalin-based rat poisoning, its appetite is usually severely suppressed. Feeding supplements helps the animal return to normal and may be prescribed by the veterinarian. Numerous prescription diets help supply vitamins and minerals that may have been lost during the pet's sickness. Veterinarians will determine which diet supplement to prescribe to return the pet to health. It will require ongoing monitoring by a veterinarian to ensure no setbacks to its recovery.

Brodifacoum Treatment

Any animal that ingests brodifacoum-based rat poison should be induced to vomit immediately. Charcoal will then be administered followed by cathartics drugs which cause the bowels to evacuate. The antidote of vitamin K will then be administered. The animal will be injected with vitamin K until stability and clotting is achieved. Blood transfusions may be required if the animal has lost a large amount of blood.

Follow-up Treatment

Follow-up treatment after poisoning from anticoagulant rat poison is mandatory to ensure the ongoing good health of the animal. Anti-coagulant rat poisons can stay in the animal's system for weeks; when treatment is discontinued the bleeding may resume. The veterinarian will perform a simple test known as a "PT test (prothrombin time)," which tests the blood clotting ability. The test will check for abnormalities that may prevent the blood from properly clotting which will indicate if further treatment is needed to prevent any ongoing bleeding from occurring.

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