Letter Re: A Lesson About Rat Poison

Thank you for your service and for your tremendous witness and testimony shown through your blog!
I am not an expert on poison, but a recent event made me realize this is probably an important topic to cover on this forum. My forum searches did not produce anything on this subject.

About a month ago, my daughters small dog wondered into the garage while I was taking out the trash. When I went back into the living room I found him eating something green… which turned out to be an old rat poison bait he found in the corner of the garage. Knowing these can kill in a single feeding (he’s very small) I rushed him to the all night emergency animal clinic with the remains of the poison cube in a small Ziploc. They asked me what type of poison he ate and I produced the green cube. They said they are all green and that there were no tests available to determine what kind it contained. One type was treatable and the others weren’t. Fortunately they were able to make him throw up and basically empty everything from his stomach. I have been treating him with supplements (just in case) for a month and he is doing great.
Here are the key lessons that I learned… If you are storing food and decide to place poison with the storage and on the approaches:
1.      know the exact poison you are using
2.      keep the original boxes just in case
3.      know the treatments and be prepared to administer
4.      place them in a way protected from children and pets
5.      monitor them regularly
There are many different kinds of poisons available for rats/mice/etc. It is my recommendation to only use a type that IS treatable. These may not be as fast working, but at least you have a chance to save a child or pet.
A common type of poison I found that is treatable is called Brodifacoum – which should be listed as the primary active ingredient. There are many brands that offer this product. This type is highly lethal (4 to 5 days) and attacks the body’s production of vitamin K causing the blood to lose its ability to clot. As with my daughters dog, you may be able to treat an exposed animal by forcing them to throw up and giving them vitamin K supplements twice a day. I purchased some beef flavored vitamin K tablets from my vet to ensure he would eat them and that he received the proper dose. Note that this poison is 2nd generation.. so it lasts much longer in the body (from 20 to 130 days) than older similar types. My vet felt we successfully emptied his stomach and that I had caught him before he ingested much at all, so she recommend I treat him with supplements twice a day for 30 days just to be safe.
I’m sure there are many readers who have more knowledge on this subject and particularly the medical aspects of human ingestion. I look forward to their comments.

If someone decides to use poison and has any doubt at all about the type you have… I recommend that you throw it all away. Start over with something you know is treatable and obtain the treatment. – J.W.M.