It’s the hidden poison that can kill your beloved dog or cat in the blink of an eye.
Your vet won’t even be able to detect it in your pet’s system, so treatment for this toxin is hit or miss.
As a pet parent of two very curious dogs, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the news about this chemical, called bromethalin, is absolutely terrifying. And when you hear how it became so popular, you may not believe it.
That’s why it’s vital for you to know what the symptoms are (should your pup or kitty eat some) and how you can keep your best friends safe.
Of mice and dogs
We have the EPA to thank for this.
Bromethalin became the choice of rodent trap brands such as Tomcat, Victor, and others after a mandate issued by the agency nine years ago phased out the anticoagulant-type poisons typically used back then.
If a cat or dog ingested some of that bait, yes it could be deadly. But with quick treatment, veterinarians could administer vitamin K to stop internal bleeding and save lives.
With bromethalin, however, there’s no known antidote.
The EPA said its actions were going to make things safer for kids, pets, and wildlife, but it’s done just the opposite. I can’t imagine how anyone could think this deadly lethal swap was going to accomplish that.
This toxin comes in numerous forms — such as pellets, small bars, and jugs of bait to sprinkle around or put inside various types of traps. Tomcat describes bromethalin as being able to kill mice in half the time it took those older poisons.
And guess what? It can also kill your beloved pet faster, too. In fact, it’s even more toxic to cats and dogs than it is to mice!
As I said, there’s no test for this toxin. You have to go off symptoms… and, of course, some detective work. Cats who spend any time outside are at a big risk. And felines (or pups) who eat a rodent that’s consumed a lethal dose of bromethalin are in danger, too.
Bromethalin will cause swelling and fluid to build up in the brain, causing symptoms that can include:
- muscle tremors,
- unsteadiness and/or paddling as if trying to swim,
- seizures, and,
- front leg stiffness and lost ability to bark or meow.
Even though there’s no specific antidote, your vet can still start emergency treatments that may save your pet’s life, such as measures to reduce brain swelling. So, it’s vital to get that dog or cat medical help ASAP. And remember, those symptoms may start to develop over the course of several days, depending on how much Fluffy or Fido has eaten.
Of course, using any type of poison is a really bad idea around kids and pets. All it takes is one little slip-up to result in a tragedy.
It’s a much better idea to evict mice from your home using one of these non-toxic approaches.
- Bait a bucket by dotting some peanut butter around the rim and inside. Mice can be very good at climbing in, but not so good at getting out! Some people even prop up a little ladder to help them get inside, such as ones used in bird cages. Check your buckets daily and release any unwanted guests outside, preferably a distance away from your house.
- Buy a humane mouse trap. There are many to choose from online or at any big-box home improvement store. Simply bait with peanuts, some dog or cat kibble, or most any food, check for mice daily, and release them outside.
- Find and seal openings around your home that are letting the mice in. These rodents are much smaller than they appear and any space they can get their heads into is quite enough for the body to follow.
- If you live in a rural area, consider “inviting” owls, who are masters at catching mice, to your backyard. One really good way is to install nesting boxes in trees.
And last, but certainly not least, having a resident cat will discourage even the bravest mouse from making himself at home in your house!
“Owners beware: Poisoning from this rodenticide is tough to treat” Animal Health Foundation, animalhealthfoundation.net