It happens so fast. What do you do when your dog eats mouse poison? Here are some helpful tips to keep on hand in case this happens to you and your dog.
Moving to the country, I was surprised by the abundance of two things: weeds that crop up in the garden and mice. I’ve never lived in a home with a mouse problem until moving to our acreage over 10 years ago.
This was a new problem for me.
Several years ago when a fat little mouse jumped out of my kitchen drawer when I opened it one evening, it was war. After bleaching everything, of course.
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Mice: One of the Pitfalls of Rural Life
At night they scratched around in the walls. I removed some electrical outlets and put mouse poison pellets in the walls. The problem is it kills them in the walls. The smell is awful. Don’t do this.
I set traps next to the furnace and caught nine mice in one week!! This problem was out of hand. I put little boxes of mouse poison on top of the electrical panel, around the furnace, and under the kitchen sink. It helped, but every once in a while the dead mouse smell would be in my house.
I’ve read that peppermint planted around the house repels mice. And in the farm supply store is a rodent repellent for farm equipment (mice like to make their homes in tractor cabs) that has peppermint oil as the main ingredient.
Peppermint is an invasive herb and I hesitate to plant it all around my house. It’ll literally take over the yard. So I planted a patch in a contained area next to one of our ground-level decks.
The rabbits that live under that deck burrow right through the peppermint. Since rabbits are just big mice with big ears, I’m doubting the peppermint solution to repelling mice.
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When Bandit Ate Mouse Poison
Finally, a couple of years ago we find an area around where the furnace attaches to the house where the mice are getting in and seal it off. Occasionally I still have a mouse scratching in the walls, but not nearly as much as before. The mouse poison next to the furnace isn’t being eaten any more. I decide it’s time to get rid of it.
Using a paper towel to avoid touching the box, I try to pick it up and drop it. The broom and dustpan are in the closet just a couple of steps away and I turn to get them.
Right when I turn I hear nibbling. Our blue heeler Bandit is eating the mouse poison.
I can’t tell how much he got. It doesn’t look like much. Maybe just a few nibbles but I don’t know how much can hurt or kill a 70-pound dog.
Immediately I call the vet. She asks me the brand of mouse poison Bandit ate and how much. I tell her it’s D-Con and it looks like he only got a few nibbles. She tells me this is good news because D-Con is a kind of mouse poison that’s treatable when ingested by dogs.
D-Con mouse poison acts as a blood thinner. It kills mice by causing severe internal bleeding.
Giving Bandit Peroxide to Help Him When He Ate Mouse Poison
My immediate job is to get Bandit to throw up by giving him hydrogen peroxide to drink. Then after that happens, keep an eye on him for a few hours and check to see if his eyes get bloodshot. Bloodshot eyes are a sign the poison is causing internal bleeding.
Ummm…. that’s going to be a problem. If you’re familiar with blue heelers, you know how intelligent and independent they are. You can’t trick them. They’re cagey. And this particular blue heeler is, I kid you not, a water snob. If there is anything in his water like a leaf or a piece of dog food, or if it isn’t absolutely fresh, he will NOT drink it.
Meanwhile, the vet is preparing a prescription of Vitamin K pills to give to Bandit for a week. Vitamin K helps blood to clot and counteracts the blood thinning effect of the kind of mouse poison he ingested.
I tried giving him peroxide to drink anyway, even mixing in a tablespoon with a little water. He’s having none of it and is wary of me because I’m panicking. I’m going to have to force him to swallow some peroxide.
And that’s when the rodeo started.
After several failed attempts in the back yard, I get help from my husband. He restrains Bandit and pries his mouth open so I can squirt a little peroxide into his throat. Bandit swallows and the peroxide works as intended.
We bring him back in the house and my husband leaves to pick up the Vitamin K pills. I’m still scared. Bandit’s eyes are red because in my earlier failed attempts I’d squirted peroxide in his eyes. I’m worried I won’t know if the poison is taking effect or not. Plus, he’s mad at me and won’t look at me. I’m being given the cold shoulder.
Fortunately, Bandit is just fine. He suffered no ill effects from the mouse poison incident.
What to Do When Your Dog Eats Mouse Poison
Get the poison out of your dog’s stomach by giving a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Then call your veterinarian for further instructions.
Different brands of mouse poisons work in different ways. Brands with an active ingredient that is a long-acting anti-coagulant are the easiest to counteract.
Check the container of the rodent poison you are using. It will tell you plainly what is the active ingredient and how it works. Keep any rodent poisons you’re using in their original box so you always have the active ingredient information on hand.
This is from the back of the box of Tomcat mouse poison. Its active ingredient is bromethalin which causes swelling of the brain. A pet ingesting this poison requires immediate hospitalization.
Pet Poison Helpline has a list of different types of rodent poisons and how they work. It’s very helpful information for pet owners.
I’m surprised to learn from Pet Poison Helpline that many rodent poisons contain Vitamin D3 as an active ingredient. This ingredient is the most dangerous for pets as it causes kidney failure. If you drop your Vitamin D supplement on the floor and you have a pet in the house, be sure to pick it up.
Dryer Sheets Seem to Work Pretty Well at Controlling Mice
Since this happened, I learned from someone who once worked at an RV dealership that scented dryer sheets are effective at repelling mice in your home. He told me one thing they do when preparing the RVs for winter is that they place dryer sheets throughout the drawers, closets, and cabinets in the RVs. So I’ve got dryer sheets stuffed around my house. Sealing off the mice’s entry into our home and using dryer sheets is helping a lot. I still occasionally hear the scratches in the wall, but I’m not seeing any “evidence” of mice anywhere in my house anymore.
I hope you never need this information, but bookmark the Pet Poison Helpline website and keep your veterinarian’s emergency phone number in your phone just in case.