Rat Poison

Monday, April 28, 2008

Last Sunday I was cleaning out the hall closet which is right by the garage. I had a number of boxes of papers from earlier scrap booking adventures. As I was cleaning out the closet, I saw signs of shredded paper and, well, other nasty signs of a rodent. It never dawned on me that the rat was in there at the time. Well, guess what? He was.

As I pulled out a bag in the corner of the closet, out came this grey thing with a long, pink tail. The ensuing ruckus was worthy of a cartoon. I could not stop screaming- after all it launched itself at me! I know now it was a panicked attempt to get away from what proved to be a crazy lady. I must have screamed for a full five minutes. If there had been a chair close I would have climbed on it. My husband came running with a baseball bat. The kids came running and couldn't quit laughing. Ninja came and wagged his little fanny (minis have their tails docked, so they wag their whole behind).

Apparently a rat had moved in to the closet. There are no signs of a hole, so my thought is he just came on in one day when the garage door was open. After my panicked screams, the rat ran off somewhere, and I don't think it was outside. Ninja has a dog door in the sliding glass door, and bits of the insulation have been shredded and are on the floor every morning. There is no way Ninja is responsible for this. After all, it's not one of my shoes. But that's another story.

Fast forward to this Saturday night. DH decides the best way to get rid of the rat is poison. Fine, but don't let the dog get it. We put it behind the china cabinet in the kitchen where he can't get to it. Guess what? He got to it. How, I have no clue. Perhaps the rat dragged it out to share. They must be friends by now- there seem to have been many nights of the rat chewing on the insulation with Ninja watching. All I know is that Sunday morning when I began playing with Ninja, I noticed he had blue goop in his teeth. . .the same color as the blocks of rat poison.

I rushed to the Internet and read what I could as quickly as I could. What I read was not pretty. This poison works on an animal's blood and causes a slow, painful death. After reading that I don't really want the rat to die that way. There were many suggestions, but the bottom line was that acting quickly was they key.

I called my local animal emergency clinic for advice. 15 calls and every time the line was busy. I then called Poison Control. They were amazing. They weren't the least bit phased that I was calling about a dog. The gentleman asked me the breed and size of my dog, what he ate, how much, and how long ago. Since it happened over night, I wasn't sure if it was 5 hours ago or 1 hour ago or something in between. The reason he asked me this is because if it was within a couple of hours, inducing vomiting could get it out of his system. "Could that hurt him?" I asked. He told me no, and told me to give my pup 1/2 ounce of straight hydrogen peroxide every 10 minutes until he vomited. He also told me that I could wait to take him to the vet until Monday as long as there were no signs of bleeding.

In the yard, I called my pup over and had him lay down. I scratched his belly, the took the cup of peroxide and poured it down his throat. He was not happy with me, and I can't blame him. 10 minutes later I enlisted DH's help, since Ninja wanted nothing to do with me after the first round. We got a bit more down him. About a minute later the poison came back up. He threw up three times, and the first two were blue and the third was clear. It looked to me that he had emptied his stomach.

I watched him closely all day and he seemed just fine. He ate as usual, he drank normally, and was his usual mischievous puppy self.

I followed up with the vet this morning. He examined Ninja and said he showed no signs of blood poisoning. He also gave him a vitamin K injection just in case, which is the antidote for this type of blood poisoning. The vet told me that I did everything exactly right and my actions basically saved my puppy from a very severe medical situation, if not death. All I can say is thank God for an amazing Poison Control Center.

As I type, he's curled up at my feet, with no clue how close he was to . . . well, you know what I mean.


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