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Dangers of Rodent Bait

Dangers of Rodent Bait
Protecting Your Pets

Since recent bans on anticoagulant rodenticides, other forms of rodent bait are becoming more popular.  These types of baits contain neurologic type poisons.  The most common neurologic poison is Bromethalin.  Bromethalin ingestion causes severe brain swelling, seizures and death in all mammals.  All mammals from rodents, cats, dogs, and small children are at very high risk for death if ingestion occurs.

Treatment is only successful if the pet is known to ingest this type of poison and is treated appropriately within 1-2 hours.   The only treatment known to be successful is induction of vomiting to reduce the amount of poison in the body below toxic levels.  After 1-2 hours the likelihood of successful treatment reduces with every passing moment.  

As with every chemical or poison used in the home, be aware of risks to animals and humans.   Speak to your veterinarian to learn tips for reducing risks in your home.

There are several general classifications of rodent poison (rodenticide) available over the counter.  The most common is one that prevents blood clotting called an anticoagulant; D- con being the most easily recognized in light of the recent bans on second generation anticoagulant rodenticides.

Anticoagulant rodenticides can come in many forms from liquid, to pellets, to blocks. They are made to be palatable, thus the increase in risk to pets. When they are ingested the active ingredient is absorbed and begins blocking Vitamin K. Vitamin K is not a vitamin in the traditional sense, instead it is a molecule used by the blood during the clotting process.

Poisoning Symptoms

Unfortunately, signs of sickness begin days after ingestion. Usually signs start with weakness, tiredness and then progress to coughing.  Nearly 100% of cases of anticoagulant poisonings start with bleeding into the lungs.

Treatment for Poisonings

Treatment of these anticoagulant poisonings often lags behind the initial poisoning resulting in dramatically reduced survival rates.  This is often because pets do not act sick after ingesting the poison and therefore owners either are unaware it happened or believe the pet will be fine.

Treatment of these poisonings depends on how soon the pet is brought in for treatment as well as the severity of that pet’s illness. The prognosis and survival rate is dependent on early recognition of signs and treatment.

If an owner is aware that their pet ate the poison, vomiting can be induced to remove as much of the poison as possible and the pet can be started on a Vitamin K supplement until all the poison leaves the body.  This reduces the risk of bleeding and the pet has an excellent prognosis with appropriate monitoring.

If a pet is already suspected to be suffering from the signs of poisoning and is bleeding into its lungs or other tissues the treatment is very different. Diagnosis is usually through a blood test that determines how long it takes for the pet’s blood to clot – these times are longer in poisoned pets.  Xrays can show how severe the bleeding is into the lungs as well, providing more information for prognosis.  The pet is started on Vitamin K and will often need a plasma or whole blood transfusion.  The transfusion is important not only to replenish blood volume but also provides the pet with the blood clotting factors the poison is blocking.

Prevention

As with most poisons, owner awareness is critical to saving the life of the pet. Knowing what poisons are on the property and ensuring that pets do not have access is the first step in prevention of poisonings.  Then, making sure to check those poisons regularly so if it is ingested, early treatment can be started.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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