The most common signs recognized 2-3 days after eating rat bait include lethargy, weakness and anorexia.The most common problem recognized is collapse and breathing difficulties due to bleeding into the chest. Other signs may include blood in the urine, pain with movement (due to bleeding in the joints), bruising of the skin (difficult to see in dogs and cats due their hair), bleeding from the nose, vomiting up fresh blood or fresh blood in the stool.
This problem can often be diagnosed from a history of recent access to rat bait at home, and blood tests by your veterinarian to demonstrate an inability to properly form a blood clot.
If your dog or cat has just eaten rat bait then they need to come into the clinic and your vet can induce vomiting. A blood test two to three days after possible ingestion can then be done to assess whether your pet has been affected. In most cases, an animal needs to vomit within 1 hour of eating the rat bait.
If your pet has been affected, treatment is required. Treatment involves supplementing your pet with oral Vitamin K morning and night for up to 4 weeks.If the signs are severe then hospitalisation and blood and/or plasma transfusions are required. In some cases additional treatments, such as oxygen therapy, may be necessary.
If you suspect your dog or cat has eaten rat bait and if you are in Greater Melbourne or surrounds please call 9092 0400 for immediate assistance.
Advanced Vetcare is a 24hr emergency veterinary clinic. Map and Directions are available here.