- A SERIOUS HEALTH RISK FOR PETS
First broadcast on www.provet.co.uk
This information is provided by
Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your
veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the
diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Various types of
substance are used to kill mice, rats and other rodents - and great care
should be taken to avoid them being eaten - directly or indirectly - by pets.
wide variety of substances are used to kill rodents and unfortunately these
can also cause serious disease or death in pets including cats and dogs.
of the most common compounds are :
- Vitamin D rodenticides - these contain cholecalciferol which causes
high blood calcium - side effects can last for several weeks, and can
lead to renal failure. OR
- Vitamin-K antagonists - these may contain warfarin, coumarin, coumafen,
coumatetralyl, brodifacoum or bromadiolone, diphacinone, diphenadione,
chlorphacinone, pindone or others. These products block the effect
of vitamin K in normal blood clotting so animals that ingest these
poisons bleed to death internally.
- Some rodenticides contain both forms of poison mixed together.
Signs of poisoning with rodenticides are non-specific and may include :
- Bleeding from various sites eg nose, in urine. If bleeding occurs into
the chest the animal will cough, or have difficulty breathing
- Dullness,. depression
- Diarrhoea - may include blood - fresh red to black
- Vomiting - may include blood which is usually coffee-brown in colour
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination (increase in frequency and volume produced)
- Very pale mucous membranes
- Fast heart rate
- Fits - muscle twitches, seizures
- Sudden death in some cases
Poisoning occurs in two ways :
- Direct - if the animal eats or drinks the poison , or if it eats or
drinks bait laced with the poison
- Indirect - if the animal eats a rodent that has eaten the poison. This
is a common route of poisoning for cats which can easily catch mice or
rats that are weakened by the poison.
Rodenticides should be kept away from pets - preferably in a locked
cupboard, and predatory pets should not be allowed access to areas in which
poison has been placed, until such time as all dead and dying rodents have
been removed from the environment.
Treatment depends upon the specific type of poison. Vitamin K
supplementation can be successful in reversing haemorrhage due to
anticoagulant-type rodenticides, whereas treatment of cholecalciferol
poisoning is unlikely to be successful once significant calcium has been
deposited in soft tissues - and no specific antidote is available
.Updated October 2013