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Dogs and dangerous toxins

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By Hope Schultz for WebVet

As we all know, dogs are nosy,  They like to explore, check out things that are unfamiliar to them and, as a result, they often times get into things they shouldn't.  In many cases, it's relatively harmless, but in some cases this relentless sense of curiosity can be quite harmful to them, and sometimes lethal. 

While there are many foods, products, and plants that are potentially toxic to dogs, there's one that many people overlook -- mouse and rat bait.  Maybe it's psychological as none of us really want to think these not-so-clean creatures milling about our homes, but it's important to know that bait designed to attract rodents is very dangerous to our dogs. There are several different types of rodent bait and all of them will threaten your dog's health should they consume enough. The most common type of bait contains a toxin that causes internal bleeding.  And just like rodents, if they eat enough, they'll ultimately bleed to death. 

So here are two watch-outs for you when it comes to rodent poison:

  1. Typically, if a dog ingests this type of poison, you'll notice that his poop takes on a blue/green color, which is the color of the toxin.  While one might assume the toxin has worked its way out of the dog's system when this happens, unfortunately much of the toxin has already been absorbed into your dog's body. SO MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR PET'S HEALTH!
  2. When a toxin such as rodent poison is ingested by a dog, it normally takes three to seven days for signs of the bleeding to occur.  And just because you're now only seeing the signs, that doesn't meant that the damage has not already been done.  PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT'S GOING ON WITH YOUR DOG BOTH AT THE TIME OF SUSPECTED INGESTION AND FOR AT LEAST A WEEK THEREAFTER!
The good news is that there is an effective treatment for this type of toxin.  The key here is catching it early.  Even if you suspect your dog has ingested rodent poison -- or any other type of toxic product for that matter -- you should immediately take him to the vet.  And if your regular vet isn't available, find a local 24/7 emergency clinic. 

The important thing to remember: When it comes to your dog's health, always err on the side of caution.  It can save your pet's life!

Webvet is the premiere online resource for vet-approved pet health information.  Content is original and written exclusively for webvet.com and all content is vet-approved annually.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Pet Health Center.
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