Rodenticides, sometimes also called rat poison, is a pest control chemical designed to kill rodents. Unfortunately, it is very sad to hear that some people have used in some instances to poison neighborhood dogs.

Killing rats with poisons is not easy because they have scavenger feeding habit and behaviour. When they have found food, they will only eat a small bit and wait. If they feel ok or don’t experience signs of sickness, they will then continue to eat the rest of the food. Unfortunately dogs may not be as patient or careful.

Rat poison comes in various sizes and shapes. It uses combinations of ingredients that make bait pellets tasteful so that rats would eat them. The main problems is that your dog can also eat  bait pellets too, which can cause internal bleeding and put your dog’s life at risk.

When dogs eat rat poison they will not show symptoms immediately. Signs of illness will usually be seen within a few weeks. Dogs, especially puppies, can also get rat poison into their body by eating a dead mouse that has already eaten bait pellets. This is called secondary poisoning.

One of the major problems is that it is hard to know the exact time or day when your dog ate the mouse and what type of poison the mouse had previously eaten. It is usually too late to give treatment by the time symptoms, such as bleeding, are observed.

When using rat poison, you should be aware that toxic chemicals inside bait pellets do not always kill animals immediately. It usually take a few days. During these few days, mise can visit different places before they actually die. To help prevent these issues, clean up yards and garbage whenever possible to reduce the risk.

Many dog rat poison symptoms are similar to other kinds of illnesses, and severity depend mainly on the quantity of poison ingested and type of chemicals used in the poison.

Dog rat poison symptoms may include:

  • dog feeling dull and rejecting food
  • saliva mixed with blood
  • internal bleeding from gums, lung
  • external bleeding from nose (epistaxis), rectum (hematochezia)
  • bright green stool which is caused by rat bait pellets
  • bloody urine (hematuria) or stool (melena)
  • blood coagulation
  • fatigue
  • excitation
  • drooling
  • slobbering
  • uncoordinated gait
  • muscle tremors
  • weakness
  • cold
  • inability to stand
  • mild cough
  • lung problems
  • breathing difficulty
  • mental depression
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • coma
  • extensive bruising
  • hair loss

Dog rat poison treatment

If you are sure that your pet ingested rat poison then you should immediately induce vomitting and take your dog to your veterinarian as quick as possible. In addition, do not let them eat or drink anything after vomit. The faster you take your dog to your vet to get rat poison treatment, the higher the chances that your dog might survive.


  • Dr. Winnie, Veterinarian

    Dr. Winnie earned a Master in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria's Veterinary School. She is a full-time Veterinarian specializing in internal medicine for companion animals.