Tag Archives: toxicity

Rat Bait Poisoning

“My dog ate Rat Poison a few hours ago but he seems fine…”

We commonly receive phone calls from well-meaning pet owners with dogs or cats that had eaten rat poison a few hours earlier, or even the night before. Sometimes we’re not told for days or weeks after the pet has eaten rat bait, and unfortunately sometimes by then it’s too late.

Rat Bait Poisoning

Rat Bait ingestion is always serious, but often doesn’t cause clinical signs straight away. This is because it stops clotting factors from being produced, and symptoms do not appear until those clotting factors are depleted. This results in pets eating rat bait, that initially appear fine. Unfortunately by the time symptoms are present, such as spontaneous severe bleeding, treatment is more difficult and costly.

Pets that are actively bleeding may require blood or plasma transfusions, and several weeks of antidote administration until the rat bait is excreted from their system. Some pets will also require a stay in intensive care.

The best course of action if your pet has eaten rat bait is to present them to a vet clinic as soon as possible. A vet can induce vomiting and commence decontamination if indicated. If presented immediately after ingestion, some pets will not need ongoing medication.

If you suspect your pet has eaten something poisonous, it is ALWAYS best to present them to a vet clinic for treatment, even if you are unsure.

There is no such thing as a completely ‘pet safe’ rat bait. If pets wont eat it, neither will the rats.

12 Tips for Christmas: Day 11 – Macadamia Toxicity


Did you know macadamia nuts can cause paralysis in dogs? As few as 5 nuts can cause paralysis in a 20kg dog. These nuts are commonly on the menu at Christmas time, and many people are unaware that they are potentially toxic to dogs. They retain their toxicity even when cooked, and can be particularly tempting for dogs when coated in chocolate.

Macadamia nut toxicity is not well studied, but we do know that these relatively low numbers of nuts can cause the following:

  • weakness and ataxia in┬áhind limbs, spreading to forelimbs
  • reduced responsiveness
  • collapse, paralysis
  • swollen, painful joints
  • occasionally vomiting
  • occasionally hyperthermia

While these symptoms are generally reversible, severely affected dogs, particularly those that are paralysed, will need hospitalisation and supportive care.

Please be mindful of this lesser known toxic food, and remember to keep them out of your pet’s way.