From Fran Woodworth, DVM:
Here at the State Street Animal Hospital we see poisonings in animals frequently. The most common is rat/mouse poison ingestion.
This week we had two potentially disastrous cases, and I wanted to get a warning out to all pet owners: BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING!
Rat poisons do not all have the same toxic ingredient. They can cause bleeding, or brain swelling, or irreversible kidney failure, or seizures, or anemia. THE ONLY ONES THAT HAVE A DIRECT ANTIDOTE ARE THOSE THAT CAUSE BLEEDING!
The two dogs we saw this week both ate yummy green bricks (the most common packaging of most of the rat poisons) containing BROMETHALIN, the poison that causes cerebral edema, or brain swelling.
Luckily the owners saw them eat it, called us immediately, and were able to make the dogs vomit up just about all the material using hydrogen peroxide under our direction.
We then saw them in the hospital and gave them medication to bind up any remaining poison in their GI tracts. These steps saved the dogs' lives.
It is safer to use traps rather than poison.
If you feel you must use poison, be sure the POISONING information says the antidote is Vitamin K.
Better than all the above, consider visiting our wonderful animal shelter, and adopting one of the cats that need homes. They are more effective than poisons or traps, and are great company besides!