How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Rodenticides in Winter?

BY | January 02 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

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As the temperatures start to fall into single digits, the smaller mammals find refuge in the homes of the larger ones. Such is the case with mice and rats, who tart searching for food indoors during winter. For pet owners, this is not a welcome arrangement, as they usually have a number of mechanical contraptions and poisonous chemicals for eradicating these pets. Rodenticides, more commonly known as at poison, are extremely effective against rats and other rodents. However, they also pose a considerable risk for household pets. If your dog comes into contact with a rodenticide or ingest a poisoned rodent, he can become very ill and even die if the toxin is fast acting.

Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

If the poison is an anticoagulant, then it will cause internal bleeding. You will begin to notice that your dog is lethargic or depressed, has a decreased appetite, is unwilling to move, and is hyperventilating. In some cases, there will be signs of external bleeding in the gums and nose, or blood in the stool or urine. These symptoms can worsen, and how quickly they do depends on whether the poison is slow acting or fast acting.Bromethalin poisons can bring about an onslaught of symptoms within hours. Your dog will start to have tremors and seizures, weakness, ataxia, vomiting, and loss of energy. If your dog has ingested a large quantity of the poison for his age and size, then it can even induce coma. Cholecalicferol is quite possible the most dangerous of all rodenticides. Symptoms include vomiting, weakness, anorexia, and an increase in thirst and urination. Poisons that are made of zinc, calcium, or aluminium phosphides are designed to mess with the digestive system, resulting in bloat and severe chock.If your dog has come into a contact with a rodenticide, contact the vet immediately. Take the bottle or box along with you so that he/she can identify the poison. Anticoagulants are usually treated by flushing the system with activated charcoal to get rid of the poison and administering vitamin K1 to stop the bleeding. If it has been less than two hours since the chemical was ingested, then vomiting will be induced to expel the toxin from the system. If the symptoms are severe, then your dog might need a blood transfusion packed red blood cells to replace the damaged blood clotting proteins.Bromethalin is trickier to treat and the vet will most likely induce vomiting and use a stomach pump and lavage to cleanse the stomach of it contents. Activated charcoal is used to neutralize the remaining poison. Bear in mind that the prognosis is relatively guarded fro dogs who have ingested this poison. In most of the cases, the dogs have to be hospitalized with no guarantee of a complete recovery.

How to Avoid Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs and Cats

Insecticides are designed to kill insects, but they can also seriously affect your dog or cat. Many insecticides used in homes, gardens, parks, and even spot-on flea treatments can easily poison your pet if not used carefully. Dogs are especially at risk of inhaling or ingesting debris left on grass, eating a treated plant, or eating an undissolved pellet of water-soluble insecticide. Hereโ€™s how to avoid insecticide poisoning.

Dangerous Ingredients in Insecticides

Several ingredients can cause severe reactions and even long-term cognitive issues. When you are buying insecticides, look at the label and avoid buying the most dangerous ingredients listed below:

  • Amitraz
  • Acephate
  • Carbofuran
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Diazinon
  • Disulfoton
  • Fenoxycarb
  • Fonofos
  • Malathion
  • Methomyl
  • Parathion
  • Permethrin (donโ€™t use around cats)
  • Propozur
  • Terbufos
  • Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP)

The most surprising of these may be permethrin, which is often used in dog spot-on flea and tick treatment. Cats are highly susceptible to permethrin poisoning, even through skin contact, so if you have a cat and a dog, look for safer alternatives for your home.

Safer Insecticide Alternatives

Below is a list of insecticides that, when used as directed, can be safer to use around pets.

  • Acetamiprid
  • Imidacloprid
  • Lufenuron
  • Nitenpyram
  • Pyriproxyfen
  • S-Methoprene
  • Spinosad

Follow the Label

Once you have identified which insecticides can be safely used around your pets, it's still very important to follow directions carefullyโ€”overdosing with a โ€œsaferโ€ insecticide can still lead to poisoning. Make sure to read products' fine print carefully, and ensure that insecticides will not be mixed.

  • Never apply outdoor insecticides while your pet, any toys, or feeding bowls are on the lawn.
  • Avoid pellet pesticides that can be mistaken for food.
  • Donโ€™t mix insecticides with organic fertilizer -- most dogs like the taste of organic fertilizers.
  • When storing insecticides, make sure they are out of reach and locked up so that children and animals cannot access them.

Take Caution

When your pet is outside, it can be harder to protect them from dangerous insecticides. Your neighbor's pesticides can also drift into your lawn and affect your pet. It is best to get to know your neighbor and talk with them about their pesticide use, at least so that you know which pesticides your pet might be exposed to. If you take your dog to a park that uses pesticides, avoid treated areas for at least 72 hoursโ€”and waiting longer is better.

If you suspect your dog or cat has been poisoned by an insecticide, contact an emergency veterinarian and poison control immediately. It's important to gather as much information as possible:

  • What the poisonous chemical was or may have been
  • How much was ingested
  • The means of exposure

Bring the insecticide packaging if you can and, if your pet has vomited, a small vomit sample for analysis.

More on Poisoning

When to Call Animal Poison Control
Be Prepared for Emergency Pet Care: Steps to Take Now
The Most Poisonous Foods for Cats

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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