• Dogs are naturally curious and love to nibble on everything they find. They become very sick and die when they ingest rat poison or even the the corpse of a poisoned rodent. Poisoning symptoms often begin mildly, such as a mild cough that could be mistaken for something lodged in the animal's throat. The odds of survival are low, but starting at-home treatment and taking your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible improves your dog's chance of survival.

    Recognize the Symptoms

    Rat poison causes internal bleeding and the symptoms will reflect that. Look for dull and listless behavior from your dog and bleeding from the nose and rectum. Its urine will be mixed with blood, and rat poison often causes bright green stool. Your dog will reject food and the muscles will tremble. If your dog can stand, its gait will be erratic. The type of poison dictates how swiftly the symptoms will present themselves. Strychnine, for example, will cause excitability, agitation and uneasiness within two hours. Painful seizures will quickly follow and cause the dog to throw the head back and turn blue from a lack of oxygen (this will be most obvious in the gums). The seizures are easily triggered by touching the dog or by loud noises such as clapping. The dog will also start trembling and paddling the legs.

    Treat the Symptoms Immediately

    Start at-home treatment before taking your dog to the animal hospital. Use several teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if you suspect your dog ate the poison within the past two hours. If it's been between two and 12 hours since your dog ate the poison, feed your dog a solution of activated charcoal. The mixture is one tablet of charcoal per 10-ccs of water; administer one teaspoon for every 2 pounds of body weight. Follow it with a pint of water. Give your dog sodium sulphate, or Glauber's salt, 30 minutes later. The mixture should be a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight. Milk of Magnesia also works; give one teaspoon for every five pounds of body weight. If unsure of the amount to give your dog, call your veterinarian immediately.

    Rush Your Dog to the Animal Hospital

    Wrap your dog in a blanket to keep it warm and rush your dog to the veterinarian right away. The doctor will start a regimen of vitamin K and, in severe cases, start a plasma transfusion to clot your dog's blood. The dog will be given oxygen if the bleeding has spread into the lungs. Veterinarians will recognize poisoning almost immediately, but any information you can provide about when the symptoms appeared and the type of poison is helpful. Collect some vomit and bring it with you if possible as this will assist with diagnosis and treatment.


    Doctor Dog: Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook: Poisoning

    Dog Symptoms Cure: Dog Rat Poison Symptoms

    Dog Channel: When Dogs Eat Rat Poison

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