I spent the day with my girlfriend at the vet hospital. Her dog, Chino, ate rat poison over the weekend, and is critically ill. I don’t know how this will turn out, but I do know how it happened, and I’ve seen it happen too many times before.
Dogs don’t have fingers to help them explore their world. Rover uses his nose and mouth. Poisons are manufactured with grains and cereals to make the bait attractive to rats and mice, and therefore to dogs too. And the results are often fatal, especially to small dogs.
Chino got up onto a shelf and behind a pile of boxes to get to the poison. I’ve heard of dogs that knocked over a shelf unit in the garage and ate snail bait that fell to the floor. My own husband once declared (about snail bait): “Tank won’t bother it; he knows,” and he was wrong. Within two hours Tank was having tremors and seizures and we were on our way to the emergency vet.
My friend’s husband swore he had hidden the bait well enough, and he was wrong too. If you set it out, they will find it. Period. Don’t take a chance. Chino has had several blood transfusions, injections of vitamin K, and IV fluids. After $2,000 in care, his lungs are still full of blood, he is lethargic, too weak to walk, and his extremities are swollen. She took him home tonight and if he makes it through the night, she will bring him back to the vet tomorrow for more treatment. Only time will tell us whether Chino will survive.
The poison interferes with blood clotting. Symptoms include bleeding from the nose or mouth, muscle tremors, mild cough (as the lungs fill with blood), breathing problems, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, blood in the urine or stool. Quick treatment by a vet is vital to survival.