Rodenticide Poisoning

There are many different types of poisons which are used to remove unwanted pests from households, farms, and other environments. Many times, these poisons are ingested accidentally by pets and wildlife. There are three common rodenticides used to control pests. They each act on the body in a different way. In order to properly treat your pet it is important to have this information available for the veterinarian.

● bring the package of the poison ingested
● brand name/chemical of the rodenticide
● the amount of bait missing, or ingested
● time of ingestion

These are the three most common types of rodenticides used and how they act on the body.

1. Anticoagulant Rodenticides (Warfarin and Congeners)
Common names: Bait blocks (peanut butter, apple flavor), Havoc, Ramik, “Older” d-CON products

Anticoagulant rodenticides work by stopping an enzyme (vitamin K epoxide reductase), which normally reactivates Vitamin K. Vitamin K is important in activating clotting factors. If the clotting factors are not activated, the body cannot protect itself from bleeding. Internal or external bleeding can occur and result in death.

Signs: uncontrolled bleeding (commonly from the mouth), bruising, difficulty breathing, vomiting blood, black tarry stool, seizures, or collapse.

2. Bromethalin
Common names: Tomcat, Top Gun, Assault, Talpirid, Real Kill, Clout, Vengeance

Bromethalin is a neurotoxin which stops the cells in the central nervous system from producing energy. The nerve cells swell, which puts pressure on the brain and spinal cord, and leads to paralysis and death.

Signs: vomiting/ diarrhea (green in color), walking drunk, incoordination, tremors, seizures, paralysis, and eventually death

3. Cholecalciferol
Common names: :New” d-CON products, Terad3 BLOX

Vitamin D helps the body maintain calcium balance by enhancing absorption of calcium from the gut and kidneys. Ingestion of toxic levels can result in severe increase in calcium and phosphate in the blood. High calcium levels can affect kidney, heart muscle, skeletal muscle, intestinal, and nerve cell function leading to anorexia, lethargy, and coma in severe cases. Prolonged elevations cause secondary kidney injury, and mineralization of the soft tissues of the body.

Signs: weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, increased thirst, frequent urination, confusion, depression, stupor or coma.

Treatment for ingestion of a Rodenticide

Contact a veterinarian as soon as you suspect your animal has ingested a toxin. Supportive care and decontamination as soon as possible is recommended. The veterinarian will induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal to absorb toxins circulating in the blood, administer intravenous fluids to flush out toxins, and administer the appropriate drugs to support the toxin ingested. It is unsafe for your pet if you were to attempt this at treatment at home. Please call your family veterinarian or Pet Specialists of Monterey immediately if you suspect your pet has eaten any of these poisons. We can be reached at 831-899-4838.

Aiello, S. E., & Moses, M. A. (2016). The Merck Veterinary Manual (11th ed.). Merck.
Rodenticides. (n.d.). Retrieved from