With the recent mouse plague running rampage around regional Australia, PetInsurance Australia is urging all pet lovers to ensure the safety of theirpets.

“We’ve seen a 300% increase in claim payments in the past three monthscompared to the same months in 2020 for rat bait poisoning,” Nadia Crightonfrom Pet Insurance Australia says. “It’s really important that if pet ownersare utilising rat baits to take extra precautions when it comes to theirpets.”

For a dog, or cat rat bait can seem like a delicious find to a curious nose.However, it can cause deadly consequences for many pets. As it destroys theability to make vitamin K, it can cause serious internal haemorrhaging andstop the body’s ability to clot.

Symptoms of poisoning include:

  • Lethargic & general weakness
  • White gums
  • Cough
  • Blood nose
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Blood in mucus
  • Blood in urine or faeces

Symptoms can begin 2-4 days after the ingestion. Commonly the pet will beginto cough and blood could be present.

“Commonly the first area to be affected is the lungs that can cause difficultyin breathing,” Crighton says. “The pet may then also show symptoms of bloatingin their abdomen.”

Treatment involves intravenous Vitamin K, in some severe cases, bloodtransfusions may be necessary.

“Recent common breeds claiming for ingestion of rat bait included AustralianTerriers, Australian Kelpie Sheepdogs, Cattle Dogs, and Australian Shepherds,”Crighton says. “You can tell by the breeds affected that they are mainlyworking dogs that are currently coming into contact with masses of rat baits.”

Prevention is key when utilising any type of poison in the home. Using a dog-proof bait station is paramount if you have pets in the home. Always ensureyour baits are stored in a sealed waterproof container and kept away frompets. Do not allow your pets to investigate or be off-leash near any areasthat have had mass rat bait drops. Keeping cats indoors and dogs on leash arethe best way to preventing your pet from coming into contact with any poison.

“Ensuring you are only utilising pet-proof bait stations can help prevent yourpet from suffering from severe poisoning,” Crighton says. “If you suspect yourpet has ingested any bait, or you notice blue or green granules in your dogfaeces, you must seek veterinary treatment quickly.”

Pets can also suffer from secondary poising if they have ingested a mouse/ratthat has been poisoned. However, the pet would need to have ingested asufficient amount to become to show any symptoms or become affected.

PIA has noticed claims of up to $11,000 for rat bait poisoning.

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