MCAH Blog

Rodenticide Toxicity

Mount Carmel - Monday, October 01, 2018

As the colder weather is (slowly!) approaching, more and more outside animals will attempt to join us inside to benefit from the warmth of our homes!It is not uncommon this time of year for exterminators to be seen regularly around the neighborhood, helping to prevent rodents from setting up shop in our basements.It is important to know what measures they are using to protect a basement, as many rodenticides also are toxic to our pets.

The two most common classes of rodenticides are warfarin or bromethalin based.Warfarin based rodenticides (such as TomCat) prevent the animal who ingested it from being able to clot their blood properly.After ingestion, a small bruise or bump can lead to internal bleeding which cannot be stopped without medical intervention.These animals require supplemental vitamin K for at least a month, and in severe cases, may require a plasma transfusion to stabilize the animal from  death.

Bromethalin is a newer and much more dangerous toxin.It affects the metabolism of the brain, effectively depriving it of oxygen.This can progress quickly to neurologic side effects or even death.Time is of the essence in these toxicities, as ideally patients are made to vomit to decrease as much absorption of the toxin as possible, and repeated doses of a substance called activated charcoal to prevent further absorption from the GI tract.

The majority of these products are colored (either green or aqua) to help identify them as poisons.If you are ever concerned that your pet may have ingested one (or an animal that may have eaten one!), please give us a call right away to discuss what necessary steps (if any) are needed!