In urban environments where rats are a plague, it is common to use rat poison indiscriminately to try to end this problem. The placement of the poison in places accessible to other animals, together with the habit of many people to put the poison mixed with food to attract the animal, ends up causing the accidental poisoning of domestic animals, mainly dogs. When the dog eats rat poison, it is necessary to act quickly, because depending on the amount ingested and the time of rescue, the poison ingestion can be lethal. If your dog has eaten rat poison, there are some emergency precautions that can be taken that we will explain in this article.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG ATE RAT POISON?
The most common symptoms of rodenticide poisoning in dogs are vomiting and diarrhea (which may or may not have blood), demonstration of pain usually through crying and moaning, tremors, weakness and even seizures. When noticing one or more of these symptoms, it is important to seek emergency medical attention, as the time between ingestion of the poison and care may be the determining factor for your dog’s survival.
INDUCTION OF VOMITING
If you already know that your dog has eaten rat poison but he still hasn’t vomited, you can try to induce your dog to vomit. This can be done by inserting your properly sanitized finger into the base of your dog’s tongue. However, be careful: do not do this if your dog is a puppy or is small, as this can suffocate him. Repeat this procedure a few times so that the dog manages to expel at least part of the toxic substance he ingested.
Activated charcoal, which can be found in pills for veterinary use, can help in the care of your dog in a situation of poisoning. The ingestion of activated charcoal prevents the poison from being fully absorbed by the dog and, sometimes, it can even induce vomiting of part of the ingested substance. However, activated charcoal is not an antidote for rat poison and its use is not a substitute for clinical care. In cases where the veterinary clinic is far away and care may still take some time, the use of activated charcoal can be a great ally.
DO NOT GIVE HOMEMADE RECIPES
In a quick Google search, it will be possible to see several homemade recipes to save poisoned animals, however, be very careful. Actions such as making your dog drink peroxide can make the dog’s situation worse instead of better. In addition to the possible reaction that the recipe can cause in your dog’s digestive system, forcing him to eat something at that time can make his situation worse by causing more nervousness and strangeness. The same goes for guidelines on some internet sites about giving anti-inflammatories based on Diclofenac (Cataflan, Voltaren) – administering these medications at this time can cause problems such as gastric ulcer and even kidney disorders. Again: the best and most urgent thing when your dog eats rat poison is to seek care at a veterinary clinic so that he has the proper treatment.
POISONING INDOORS OR OUTDOORS
Sometimes it happens that the dog has been poisoned inside the house – some people put rat poison in the house, because they have serious problems with these pests. If that was the case and your dog ate rat poison indoors, it is important to take the poison used to the veterinarian.
This will let the veterinarian know exactly what substance your dog has ingested, and in this way he will be able to choose the best treatment for him. In cases of poisoning outside the home, it is more complicated to know which substance was ingested. There are several toxic substances that can poison your dog in different ways, such as those described below.
Chumbinho is a clandestine product, illegally used as a rodenticide, very common in poisoning animals such as dogs and cats. Its appearance is of coarse gray grains and, in fact, it is an agricultural poison that is not allowed to be used in PAK. The pellet damages the tissues and, consequently, the internal organs, causing abdominal pain and vomiting in animals that accidentally ingest it. However, pellet is not an efficient rodenticide, because despite killing older rats, it is rejected by younger rats.
Coumarinics are allowed rat poisons in PAK, being sold in specialized stores. This type of poison has anticoagulant action and, therefore, when a dog eats this type of poison, it has internal bleeding. An indication that your dog has ingested this type of poison is vomiting or bloody diarrhea. Service in this case needs to be as soon as possible, so that the bleeding is controlled and that your dog does not lose too much blood. Even so, in many cases, it will be necessary for him to receive blood bags.
There are several types of insecticides on the market, which may contain different substances that act in different ways in the body of dogs. It also depends on the amount ingested and even the size of the dog to know if the intoxication can be lethal or not. However, poisoning by insecticides usually causes salivation, weakness, and may also cause diarrhea and seizures.
In addition to rat poisons, there are other substances that, despite being common for us, can act as true poisons for dogs. Medicines common to humans, such as aspirin or paracetamol, can cause strong reactions in dogs, such as vomiting, salivation, depression and even death. Some foods are also highly toxic to dogs: chocolate, grapes and raisins contain substances that can poison animals when ingested in large quantities. Intoxication by both foods causes very similar reactions: vomiting, thirst, diarrhea and abdominal swelling. Alcohol (whether present in alcoholic beverages or disinfectants) and mothballs are also substances with a high potential for poisoning when ingested by dogs.
CARE FOR YOUR DOG NOT TO BE POISONED
To avoid poisoning your dog, avoid using rat poison indoors. Even so, if it is necessary to use such poisons, choose places your dog cannot access. In the case of a rat infestation, the safest decision is to hire a company to deratize and, during this period, leave your dog somewhere else, such as a friend’s house or even a hotel.
Now that you know the substances that are potentially toxic to your dog, make sure they never come within your pet’s reach.
Also, do not let your dog have access to the street without being properly accompanied by you or another responsible person. When the dog is loose in the street, in addition to being subject to the ingestion of toxic substances, it is also vulnerable to diseases and other dangers.
It is also important to point out that non-accidental poisoning of dogs or any other pet is a crime. The law of environmental crimes includes the practice of abuse, mistreatment, injuring and mutilating domestic or domesticated animals, which may result in a sentence of three months to one year in jail plus the payment of a fine.