Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

Latest News

Rat Bait Poisoning in Dogs

May 8, 2013

As we approach winter we do start to see more cases of   rat bait poisoning in dogs on farms and small rural blocks.

Rats love to live in warm, sheltered and secure nests especially under silage stacks where there is warmth and ample food.

Rats also have a habit of collecting food and poorly managed rat bait pellets are often left around where dogs can access  them.

Rat baits contain a drug ( Brodifucoum)  which stops   the normal clotting of blood and poisoned animals do die,  some 4 to 5 days after eating  bait.  

Dogs die from internal bleeding into the lungs or abdomen.


  • If a dog has recently (within 2-3 hours) eaten bait we can give emetic drugs to ensure they vomit all the poison.
  •  Specific antidotes are available  if we can diagnose the poisoning
  • Animals with acute blood loss can be  treated with canine plasma or a blood transfusion


Preventing dogs from having access to bait is the ideal option, using commercially available bait stations, to correctly manage the bait.   Stations ensure dogs can not get access to the poison and rats can feed on the poisons but not remove pellets out into the farm environment.