Dogs are hunters by nature, even if they live in the city. Your dog may be prone to hunting bugs, rats or mice. Occasionally even a city dog will eat a rat or a mouse. But could this make your dog sick?
Health Issues in Dogs from Eating Rodents
There are several health issues that rodents can cause in your dog. Let’s take a look:
Toxoplasmosis: is a parasite that can cause a host of health issues in a dog. Some of the symptoms include:
- Neurological symptoms
- Muscle Weakness
- Weight loss
Intestinal worms (such as roundworms): can take up residence in your dog and cause diarrhea, vomiting, poor nutrition and more.
Secondary poisoning: if the mouse or rat ate poison before being eaten, then the poison enters your dog’s system, too. The levels of toxicity will depend on the amount that the rodent ate and how many rodents your dog has eaten. Your canine companion may develop:
- Bruising under the skin
- Blood in urine or poo
- Bleeding from the nose
- Pale gums or small hemorrhages on the gums
- Coughing/breathing issues
- Seizures/muscle tremors
Salmonellosis: carried by both rats and mice, symptoms can include:
This infection can lead to death if untreated, and the dog can spread the infection to his family and other pets in the home.
Rats can also carry other diseases such as Rat Bite Fever (a bacterial infection) and Tularemia (another bacterial infection).
Rats and mice (along with other small rodents) can also carry rabies, though this is very rare.
This is not an exhaustive list of medical issues that a dog can develop after eating rodents.
What to Do If Your Dog Ate a Mouse or Rat
First, never induce vomiting, unless directed to do so by your vet. This could cause additional harm or other medical issues.
If you know for sure that your canine companion’s eaten a mouse or rat, be sure to call your vet right away. Have information ready for the vet including:
- Approximately when did your dog eat the mouse or rat.
- Did he eat the entire animal?
- Was the rodent found in places where you have put rodent poison out?
- Was the animal alive and then your dog ate it? Or was it already dead? If it was dead already, about how long was it dead?
- Is your fur baby showing any symptoms (such as vomiting, diarrhea, etc.)? Note: if your dog ate a rodent that ingested poison, it may be 2-3 days before your canine companion exhibits any symptoms.
This information can be very helpful to the vet. Treatment will depend on your fur baby’s symptoms and whether or not the rodent had ingested poison, etc.
With fast, early treatment, your fur baby has a happy prognosis. And your dog may not show any symptoms if the rodent wasn’t carrying harmful bacteria. Your fur baby will be OK, but it’s a good idea to make sure he can’t eat rats or mice in the future to avoid possible serious health issues.
KyokoKyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!
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