My dog is a glutton. She will eat anything and everything, and it has gotten her into some trouble over the years. Puppies especially like to root around where they don’t belong, but even adult dogs can get themselves into serious trouble if they can catch a quick “treat” that may potentially harm them. Here is what to do if your dog has ingested a rat poison or bait, or an insect bait.
When my dog was around 6 months old, she ate a whole box of Decon that my neighbor had mixed in with cat food to try to kill the cats in his wood pile (cruel, I know). Well, he didn’t get any cats, but he got a big white dog, and I caught her just as she was licking out the dish that she had somehow dug out from deep within the wood pile. Luckily, my neighbor saw me dragging my dog away and frantically informed me that she had just ingested an entire box of Decon.
Decon works to kill rats and other pests by leeching hydration from their systems, drying them from the inside-out. Once the chemicals dissolve in the body, it does serious damage to the kidneys and liver, and creates a painful, slow death. Taking care of the situation as quickly as possible is the best thing to do. But you must stay calm.
If your dog eats rat poison, get them to the vet ASAP, and don’t call first to make an appointment if they’re open. I was rushing my mutt to her vet and called them on the way, Decon box in hand (always take in the poison container to the vet so they know what they’re dealing with), letting them know what had happened. Assistants were waiting for me in the parking lot with a gurney and a drip with Vitamin K in it (to protect the kidneys and flush out the toxins) and had my dog hooked up before we even got inside the building. There, they induced vomiting and had her loaded up with Vitamin K while I bawled in the waiting room.
Luckily, Decon takes a bit to dissolve, and they were able to get her to ralph up all the little blue tablets before they could cause her much harm. They sent me home with activated charcoal to soak up any remaining toxins and she had to take Vitamin K pills for 14 days, but she had no lasting damage. Thanks to the quick arrival of the vet from her ingestion (less than a half hour) and their immediate response to her poisoning, she is just fine.
The key is to get your dog to the vet ASAP within an hour or less of ingestion. If that is not possible, get your dog to vomit as soon as you can. My vet said pouring peroxide down my dog’s throat (which would not harm her) would get her to vomit rapidly and harshly to get the poison out before it dissolved. Also, do not allow the dog to drink water. Get them to vomit until the poison is all out and get them to a vet as soon as possible.
My dog also ate 3 containers of ant bait, those little dome traps that have peanut butter inside that ants take to their homes and share with their buddies and later die. I guess it was also dog bait, and at 3 years old my mutt was at it again, chomping away on those ant baits with reckless abandon. In this case, I called the vet to check the toxicity, and also called the poison control number on the back of the box. Both the vet and the poison control center said that my dog was too large to be affected by a small amount of ant bait, and even at a larger amount she would have likely just gotten queasy. However, the point is that you need to contact your local vet even if your dog eats something that MAY be toxic. Even a flower chomped on in the yard can make your dog very ill.
If your dog consumes any toxin, call your vet or get them there right away, or try inducing vomiting with peroxide to eliminate the toxins. All towns should have an emergency vet clinic, and you can even call the ER of your local hospital for assistance. Have the container or box containing the poison in hand so the professionals know what they’re dealing with. The quicker you address the situation, the better, but try to do so calmly so you can effectively assess the situation. In other words, don’t drive like a madman at 100 mph to get to the vet frantically crying into your cell phone as you call the vet and then bawl like a baby on the assistant’s shoulder the whole time your dog is being helped (like I did). But hey, if you freak out anyway nobody will blame you.
Even if your dog eats dish soap, call the vet. There is no such thing as being too careful with your dog’s health and life.