Cases of dogs and cats being poisoned by rat bait are on the increase, according to a Warwickshire vets.
Rats are more prevalent in the winter as their food supply becomes scarcer and they scour homes, garages, parks, stables and farms – especially where grain is being stored over the winter – for titbits.
Rat poison is easy to obtain and is one of the most common household dangers to pets. Once consumed by the family pet it’s a race against time.
Simon Davies, a vet at Avonvale Veterinary Centres, said: “If your dog or cat is poisoned by mouse or rat bait you need to get help immediately for life-saving treatment. Rapid action can often save a pet’s life.”
Avonvale surgeries in Warwick, Southam, Kenilworth, Wellesbourne and Stratford have all reported cases already this year, although fortunately none have been fatal.
Mr Davies said the symptoms to look out for can be easy to miss at first – sometimes something as minor as a soft cough. This may then be followed by blood in vomit or round the gums, or when going to the toilet, then depression and increasing weakness.
There are very different types of poison and, if possible, accurate identification of the active ingredient in the bait is crucial as this will determine the appropriate treatment.
Mr Davies advises pet owners to use secure purpose-made containers for rat bait, not simply covering it with a tile which dogs can easily overturn with their muzzles, and never underestimate how inquisitive their pets can be.
For more information, visit www.avonvets.co.uk