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Rat Poison (d-con, etc) should be restricted to Exterminator use only or taken off the market !!


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Initial post: Mar 20, 2012 10:55:06 AM PDT
MercNALL says:
After having a beloved dog die 2 weeks ago from Brodifacoum intoxication (rat poisoning-per the necropsy) I am paranoid and emotionally stressed to the max because we have other dogs!! Our deceased dog only roamed the fenced-in back yard and we've never had rat poisoning on our property, which leads us to suspect possible malicious intent (after his death we learned that two bordering neighbors have each had a dog who died suddenly and unexplained ) which in itself is insane. This was the PERFECT dog (maltese/shih tzu mix), no barking, no pooping on other people's lawns, liked to snuggle. Our poor dog collapsed one night (with no prior symptoms) after we had gotten home from a restaurant, became unresponsive and limp and was having difficulty breathing. A trip to the 24 hr vet clinic, 5 hrs and $500 later he was dead. He died painfully and slowly over the course of a couple hours. Returning to the discussion, rat poison ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT be available to buy so easily at wal-mart, amazon, etc, considering it is highly toxic and kills non-target animals so easily (can remain in their system for a month). I feel that individuals with rat/mice problems not serious enough to warrant the use of a professional exterminator, should be limited to conventional spring mouse traps or sticky traps. There is no excuse for allowing such a toxic poison to be used freely by individuals who are flagrantly irresponsible and indifferent or apathetic to the death of furry family members. As a pet owner, it is frustrating to be limited in the ability to investigate and determine wrong doing in the death of a pet. Understandably this was not a human being but, he still held a very dear place in our hearts and was an integral part of our family and daily lives.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 11:56:48 AM PDT
Ibuprofen and Tylenol will kill a dog or cat just as quickly and painfully as rat poison. Because it is poisonous to animals that lack the enzyme needed to metabolize it.

Should we ban sales of them as well?

My sympathy for your loss, but banning rat poison will not cure the ills of the world.

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 12:12:45 PM PDT
R. Arless says:
I am very sorry to hear of your loss of your pet, especially under these circumstances. Is it possible your dog could have come in contact with the poison in any other way, such as eating a rodent that had been poisoned or from bait a previous owner left behind?Unfortunately if someone is depraved enough to poison an animal restricting one item is probably not going to stop them. There are many common household products that are very toxic to pets. Even certain over the counter medications that are safe to humans in the recommended dosages can be very poisonous to pets.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 12:57:11 PM PDT
MercNALL says:
Thank you for your sympathies. Both of your points are very valid but, I feel that rat poison inadvertently places pets at risk while being used for its intended purpose in its intended location. Although aspirin, ibuprofen and other over-the-counter medications also have the potential to kill your pet, their intended use is not to be placed in easy-for-pets-to-reach locations where pets can be enticed to eat them. Furthermore, aren't conventional spring loaded traps and sticky traps efficient rat killing devices, short of a full blown infestation? The EPA made "brodifacoum" a restricted use pesticide in 2008 citing its potential effects to aquatic and avian wildlife (source: http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/toxins/Profiles/brodifacoum.html). Admittedly, I had given no thought to the danger of rat poison until recent events but, personal experience with the ugly side of rat poison has me questioning why such a product remains so freely on the market when alternatives with no capacity for collateral damage are available. A scenario which starts with a neighbor haphazardly tosses rat poison onto their own property and ends with the contamination of your yard and the death of your pet disturbs me greatly and by allowing such a product to be freely available to all consumers, it allows the neighbor full immunity against wrongdoing which would not be the case if the neighbor was tossing peanut butter coated aspirins. Current rat poisons are engineered to last a long time and not disintegrate easily as I would imagine would be the case with aspirin left in the elements. I understand the argument that we can't ban every product that causes someone or something to die but, would restriction to "professional-use only" be inappropriate when consumers can still purchase other forms of pest control?
R Arless, given our dog's tendency to refuse "human" food (unlike our cocker spaniel who eats anything he can) we both believe it unlikely he would have eaten a rodent and we don't understand why he would have consumed so much rat poison to reach a level of 14 ppm in his liver upon necropsy (lethal levels considered 2.5-10 ppm). We adopted him from a shelter, he was 3 years old and we only had him for a wonderful year so, you can imagine our anger and feeling of maltreatment.

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 5:22:07 PM PDT
ace™ says:
"A scenario which starts with a neighbor haphazardly tosses rat poison onto their own property and ends with the contamination of your yard[...]"

i realize that you are probably reacting with your emotions, not your mind, but people do not usually "haphazardly toss" rat poison anywhere. it is contained in little boxes, which you place near where you have seen droppings or other pest signs. then, the rat eats it (and sometimes hauls some back to the nest for the kiddies) and, when it realizes it is mortally sick, it crawls off somewhere dark and hidden to die. unlikely that your pet would find a dead rat full of rat poison to eat. we have had rats off and on in our garage because we keep sealed plastic containers of bird seed in there and the dang rats can chew through the plastic to get to the seed. we have used rat poison successfully many times... and we have a dog... a 30 lb corgi. we have had him for almost 10 years and we make sure to keep him out of the garage when there's rat poison on the floor. we've never had a problem with finding the dead rats in a dog-accessible place. in fact, the only way we know the rat is dead is that the poison stops disappearing and the bird seed is untouched. we never see the dead rat itself.

rat poison is an anti-coagulant and a *very small* dose is enough to cause the rats to bleed to death. since brodifacoum was the poison in your dog's liver, i looked up the LD50 for rats (oral 0.27-0.30 mg/kg b.w.) and dogs (oral 0.25-3.6 mg/kg b.w) ... and while it has the same LOW end rate, the high end is notably higher for dogs, which means that since your dog (10-15 lbs?) was considerably larger than a rat (at most probably 1 lb?), it PROBABLY would have to have eaten several poisoned rats to hit the lethal dose for dogs that size.

i am fairly well-versed in the rat poison warfarin (i take a small dose myself every day!) but less so with brodifacoum, so if anyone out there (mr. wasson?) knows more about this and can correct me, please do!

and, since your dog never left his fenced back yard and you had two bordering neighbors with dead dogs around the same time, it sounds more likely to me that probably rat poison was wrapped in hamburger or something similar and tossed into your yard. this is my greatest fear with my dog since we have a fenced back yard, but live on a corner (more accessibility from the streets) and live in a slightly rural atmosphere (lots of trees and bushes on the perimeter of our yard both inside and outside the fence which allows easy hiding to do the deed). there ARE people out there with a hatred of dogs (even ones they never see inside a 5 foot high wooden fence...) and are just sick enough to do something like this.

i'm really sorry this had to happen to you... i'm very attached to my dog and would be VERY upset if this were to happen to him.
but... i don't think banning rat poison will do any good. did you know that chocolate with a high cacao percentage is almost as lethal to dogs? yet, people FEED chocolate to their dogs... because dogs LOVE chocolate. i was making christmas candy (almond roca) and was using "the GOOD DARK chocolate"... i was wrapping the pieces in foil and left the room to get more foil... the candy was on a coffee table... and when i came back, hector (my corgi) had stolen some chocolate... i found the chewed foil under the piano bench! i was heartsick... but he was OK, since he had eaten only one piece! i don't think you'll find anyone getting behind banning chocolate to protect dogs from uninformed owners!

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 9:31:27 PM PDT
I think most people who use rat poison use it inside their buildings. more likely there is some idiot doing that to the dogs. If you ever know a dog got rat poison use peroxide and water to make them throw it up. And take to vet. If your dog stays in your yard like you said look around the yard for wrappings. If the dog wonders or excessive barking maybe a stupid neighbor who won't tell you. I'd rather know my dog is barking excessively and get a collar for that than have a neighbor handle it their selves. Did your other neighbors dogs cause any problems in the block? Sorry for your loss.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 12:35:52 AM PDT
I am sorry to hear your loss. Indeed that is a terrible way for anyone to die :(

As a person who owns many animals, I understand your frustration.
However, unless you know for sure it was intentional, it is highly plausible that this was an accident as depending on the severity of your neighboring rodent problems. What I mean is it is possible the intended victims stockpiled the poison in another location, allowing other animals access to it. I have seen this scenario many times, it is what prompted me to stop using poison myself. I have free roamIng cats and chickens, and in the past I had even more critters, not to mention our good neighbor's very fine dog comes for a welcomed visit frequently and I wouldn't want any of these innocents to fall victim. I store lots of feed in a shed, and live along a river so we experience a special breed of river rats down here. Fortunately a friend's grandmother told me a brilliant way to solve the rat problem while sparing all other unintended victims- pack their entrance holes with broken glass and the stupid rats chew through the blockage and bleed to death. I have been able to cut the rat population down markedly while still enjoying and resting knowing my free roaming friends will be safe.
I offer this as a possible solution you can pass on to your neighbor who may be experiencing a rodent nightmare.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 5:08:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2012 12:56:35 PM PDT
T. Tack says:
I also empathize with you for the loss of you dog, but you should have killed the Vet. I do not agree with banning the rat poison. It might have been rat poison, or a plant or one of the many, many other things already mentioned here by others but banning is not the answer to anything. Everybody and their brother wants to ban SOMETHING ! Your solution would make it pretty rough on people who are not particularily well off. Would you have them and possibly their little children live with and be harmed by the rats ? Everyone in this country cannot afford $500.00 Vet bills or expensive exterminators. These people might very well be over run by rats and cockroaches etc. with your solutions which indicates an elitist approach. I love my dogs also but do not place their welfare above that of people.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 12:01:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2012 3:45:43 PM PDT
ParrotSlave says:
Wild birds are also affected by this phenomenon, which is termed secondary poisoning. It kills raptors and scavengers such as buzzards, not to mention four-footed wildlife as well. I would not automatically assume that someone is targeting domestic animals, although it would be useful to keep track of any dogs that were killed just in case. In your case, it might simply be some idiot not following the directions for use of rodent bait; not everyone in the world is equipped with what I regard as a functioning mind, and if you don't believe me, just take a look at the various penal facilities that our various governmental entities have to maintain.

I would assume that you could find someone at your SPCA or other animal protection group that would have the facilities to investigate. You need a record of what domestic animals were killed, when and where, and a necropsy of each with blood and tissue analyses that would indentify the actual toxin (as opposed to "I think" based on some cluster of symptoms). Unfortunately, mankind has to be at war with vermin such as rats, and, over the centuries, we have come up with many solutions to rodent control, none of which are perfect. I'm not sure that I could go along with complete restriction of such poisons, but I could see some kind of educational requirement: governments love paperwork, and I'm sure that they would all love a new bureaucracy that would handle a form that any purchasers of such products would have to fill out, a form that would include some kind of simple test questions related to the safe handling and use of such products. I'd have to think about it.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 6:09:33 PM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
Rat Zapper Classic RZC001

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 7:44:23 PM PDT
If we didn't have these poisons the black plague could return. We have many ground squirrels here that carry the plague. I agree with the elitist remark is correct. The elite have the noney they can afford things others can't.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 11:10:36 PM PDT
Real217 says:
First, you are a human being with feelings, so i'll say take heart for your loss. but i'll tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear though.

-Not everybody can afford an exterminator or anything like that.
-Nobody is going to ban something just because it killed your beloved, guns dont kill people, people kill people.
-There were over 600 gang related homicides (doesnt mean every victim is a gang member) in two cities in the US last year. Most of these homicides are basically brushed off and set on a back burner. You want resources to be allocated to investigating and determining the death of your pet animal? Do you think this is a little unreasonable?

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 11:21:47 PM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
jeez - i'd hate to hear your stance on firearms...

given the fact that you "suspect possible malicious intent" what good is banning the means of delivery if the intent is there?
if you are serious that 3 dogs have died on neighbouring properties - especially if the other 2 had similar symptoms as your dog which you know was brodifacoum toxicity my first call would be to animal control and my second would be to the police.

i'm very sorry for your loss - the dog is very much a member of the family and the grief you feel when he or she passes is very real - especially when it's something terrible like this!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 1:34:09 AM PDT
Suze says:
Sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved dog and thanks for the info about rat poison.

I recently learned that the medication used as a blood thinner, 'coumadin' was originally a rat poison. Also, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is highly toxic to dogs.

keep all medications away from your beloved pets.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 11:46:30 AM PDT
ace™ says:
coumadin aka warfarin sodium, still IS rat poison. i joke that if i should run out, i can always go out in the garage and have a snack to tide me over!

not only medications should be kept from pets, but be careful about people food (table scraps!) because not only is chocolate highly toxic, but so are garlic and onions, for instance.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 10:10:30 PM PDT
Real217 says:
COUMADIN is not a blood thinner, it doesnt affect blood's thickness/thinness, it is a Vitamin K antagonist. It prevents some vitamin K dependent blood clotting factors from acting thereby preventing clotting. Heamostatic balance is disabled in the rat, the rat bleeds out.

I really wish more people online would actually read books instead of just googling stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 10:50:54 PM PDT
ace™ says:
you are exactly right, real.

i had a stroke in 2008, so i do a deadly dance with rat poison (warfarin aka coumadin) and vitamin K. vitamin k is found in leafy green veggies (spinach, green onions, kale and romaine {caesar salad} are several of the highest in k).

vitamin K veggies are necessary for bone and heart health... so doing completely without is not a good idea.

and, as you stated, that's why rat poison kills rats. and, since rats aren't largely vegetarian (meaning they don't eat a lot of vit K, they just scavenge whatever they find) they are killed more quickly and easily by the poison since there's not much vit K in their systems to counteract it.

the information is out there, even on google... but you have to have a basis in the science to know what is good info and what is not so good. i had to do a lot of studying to find out what is high in vit K and what is not.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2012 3:45:42 AM PDT
"I really wish more people online would actually read books instead of just googling stuff."

Amen! But it will never happen. Before I came to these boards, I had no idea there wwere so many google PhDs out there.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2012 10:11:19 AM PDT
ParrotSlave says:
Amen. I'm beginning to think we should require a permit before you could use Google, and then we could create a "GEA"--Google Enforcement Agency.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 2:23:00 AM PDT
Real217 says:
Nobody said you cant google, people use the internet for research all the time which is great. The thing is, if you dont know where to look, or dont have an idea of the subject you are researching, you're very likely going to end up with false information.Worse part is you think its accurate, but its not. I only know about this particular topic because its in my field (i work in a laboratory). I dont have a PhD or anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2012 3:52:58 AM PDT
Real217

Several people that frequent the boards have backgrounds in science. The problem witht he internet is that you can get a web page and put anything on it that you want. It does not edit itself.

You would be amazed how many people 'out there' are absolutely convinced that everything learned from college is "brain washing" and that you are a "sheeple" for receiving allopathic medical care....yet will cheerfully tell you that baking soda and shark fins will cure cancer.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2012 4:56:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2012 4:59:34 AM PDT
Real217 says:
lol Its funny that is true, ive noticed that too. Problem is when i ask them, can you prove this works? the discussion quickly derails into " you're just a sheep etc" . Always leaves me dumbfounded. Ive actually had someone tell me AIDS is a conspiracy theory. The thing is, this person couldnt answer a question like "whats a cell? but they have a PhD in everything AIDS.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2012 5:59:10 AM PDT
I know and I find the HIv thing very troubling.

Many "fringers" have grasped on to the fact that you cannot literally prove the HIV virus causes AIDS, as the experiments would be unethical and illegal so we have to rely on Koch's postulates.

People out there are actually convinced endogenous viruses do not cause illness!

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 6:27:48 AM PDT
It is in fact possible that your dog was killed by an exterminator. They are humans and fallible. The "over-the-counter" purchase is actually somewhat controlled with the majority of publicly available purchases being in very small dosages with inconveniently wrapped containers. These would not be appealing to your dog.
An exterminator walking a property placing poisons and spraying on the other hand may have accidentally or purposefully decided to harm your dog. Barring that, there is always the inexplicable neighbor got irritated because he couldn't sleep, opened several of those intentionally undersized containers, placed them in some ground meat, walked to the back of his property and tossed it into yours.

That being said, I am sorry for your loss, it can be crushing when a beloved pet dies.

Not having poison be publicly available is impossible. Even banning one, there are millions of chemicals capable of doing the same thing to your pets. Insect poisons, rodent poisons, plant poisons, cleaners, vehicle chemicals. Each category containing thousands or hundreds of thousands of available concoctions that can take a life, not just a dog. You can't uninvent the atom bomb. Having a privacy fence constructed can help reduce sound and prevent people from knowing you have a dog or possibly prevent people from seeing places to throw poison. Keeping your dog indoors except when you are walking them to use the restroom is another option.

This is a bad age, in the real world, and you have to hold every loved living being near to help protect them from this horrible life as best you can. Good luck.

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 4:12:34 PM PDT
ParrotSlave says:
Another point of view is this: people misuse automobiles and cause deaths; should we outlaw consumer use of autos and mandate transportation only by bus, train or taxi? Some people don't cook their food properly and cause food poisoning of their own family; should we outlaw cooking by consumers and have professional chefs going door to door every day on routes? Some people use computers to spread viruses and commit identity theft; should we outlaw possession of computers and only allow them at, say, libraries? Any look at most consumer product labels will reveal a host of warnings, the entire rationale for which is to prevent harm--but the necessity for which, when you get right down to it, is human stupidity. If you really want to solve the problem, you need to eliminate human stupidity.
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Initial post:  Mar 20, 2012
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