What to do when your puppy brings you rat poison

After your heart has sunk. And you have reached into his reluctant mouth and carefully lifted the offending little brick of poison over his teeth and out of his mouth. rat-poison-001

We were visiting a friend and it was one of those moments when you are chatting and not watching the dogs as closely as you should. Before I realised he had gone, Blue appeared back at my feet with a small block of blue rat poison about the size of an old fashioned matchbox.  In his mouth. He wasn’t happy about giving it up either.

We drove immediately to the closest vet and though he was not in, (when are they)  His assistant said “He has to puke”. She is not one to mince words. She gave me a bottle of hydrogen peroxide with instructions to feed him something he will eat straight away (not dry food), then squirt an ounce of the hydrogen peroxide into his mouth. Well, I fed him bread and an egg, which he gobbled up then I opened his mouth and squirted the nasty stuff in. After a minute of waiting under the tree, watching me watch him, he vomited, copiously, more than once but I was grateful to find no blue poison in the contents of his stomach at all. Though how that little dog could keep so much food in his belly, I have no idea.


He was feeling quite poorly after that mean vomit trick  and had to have a wee lie down in his favourite sunday-on-tuesday hammock.  Poor Blue the Savage.  That was a close call, if he’d had a few seconds more, to actually lie down and start to chew on the stuff, this would have been a different post. TonTon’s father died after eating rat poison, it is the scourge of many a farm dog but Blue shows no signs of actually ingesting the poison.

So how about we have a bit of fun to celebrate. I have set up a piglet poll. Can you guess how many piglets our beautiful Charlotte will have. rat-poison-025

She heard there was going to be a photo opportunity and put on her make up! Once we get closer to her date she may have to stop playing in the mud though. Vote if you have a moment. She is due on June 17, and this is her first litter. And as Marie said, she is a big girl. Naturally I am hoping for a smallish number.


And now for someone a little more graceful.


The Duke of Kupa dressed to the nines.  And look below, Tui is laying another egg.


Sssh, no loud noises, back away very slowly. Do not disturb the sitting hen.

your tip toeing friend, celi

107 Comments on “What to do when your puppy brings you rat poison

  1. So glad you noticed the poison in time. I say 17 piglets 🙂

    • If the news is really bad I will tell you IN the headline, so don’t be afraid. Thank you for voting, this is fun! c

  2. Good morning Celi; i am so glad that blue is OK. your Charlotte is a big girl but that makes no difference in how many piglets she will have. birds are a funny lot they can stop or prolong (how ever you want to say it ) birthing or laying strange how they can do that well gotta go.
    have a blessed day mike

  3. Thank goodness he didn’t eat the poison, but will he ever eat bread and egg again? I had a very greedy little pony that once ate rat poison, which strangely didn’t make him as ill as when he got in with the bullocks and scoffed all their barley straw.

  4. One of my Spaniel pups ate rat poison many moons ago. The vet put drops directly into her eyes which induced the same results (both ends) immediately, not sure might have been VIt K concentrate. A good thing to feed Blue for a couple of days is cooked pumpkin or butternut – Vit K in natural form and will give him a boost. So glad he is fine and still with us! Oh and surprised so few people have voted for 14+ – what with offer to come and help. I have gone for 11-12 🙂 Laura

    • I shall add that to his rations, good point, he is a good little eater of his vegetables!.. c

    • PS What size litter did the Shush sisters come from? Laura

      • I think an average litter is 11 so I will go with that. What a great picture of Blue napping!

        • I think there were about 8 in the Shush Sisters litter.. though i never thought to ask!.. c

    • Eight! Excellent.. it will be interesting to see. Good morning Julie and welcome to the Comments Lounge! c

  5. Oh Blue…..I would have been very blue if it had not been caught in time!!!! Glad you were on the job, C!!!! And I was so happy to see Charlotte in full makeup!!! Lovely!

  6. Morning, c. Morning, Blue. I am very happy that all is well. We nearly lost Molly when she was a puppy to a chicken bone. On bin day, the magpies go through the rubbish, picking out bones etc., but they usually drop their treasure inflight. A bone landed in our garden, and Molly had it before I could yell stop. She quickly dropped it when I told her to, and traded her bone for my chewie. Scary moments.

  7. Do the same you would do for kids. Give them the medicine that make them spit it out of their system and hope it did not effect their body. I hope the dog is okay?

  8. Whew! That was close. Blue, sweetie, some things are not meant for little dogs to eat.
    I’ll go with 12+. It was very nice of her to put on her makeup for us!

  9. I’m so happy Blue is OK.

    I’ve owned a couple of dogs in my life and know very well how they will pick up absolutely anything.

  10. Am hoping that Charlotte has only 6 to 7, which is my vote. We thought Our Roxie would have way more than she did, perhaps 11 or 12, but thank goodness only 6 popped out! All healthy and she birthed during the night and needed no help from us! So easy!!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed it goes just as easy for Charlotte and you on the farmy! xo

  11. I worried for a second there that I would be reading a tragedy today. And then…all is well and I see that cutest of images of blue napping. Just a darling photo and especially so after the near tragedy.

  12. It’s a wonder kids and puppies ever survive to adulthood as many awful things as they put in their mouths….My Late, Lamented Husky ate an ant bait – just chewed it to bits. She survived – it was arsenic based, but really old…all we found in her stomach were bits of black plastic.
    Not the last stupid thing she ever ate, either…
    Have a good, less-exciting day, Sweetie!

    • I had a son like that, I always said if he and I survived through to his adulthood I would be amazed.. he got so familiar with A&E that when he was twelve he cracked his arm, he knew it was a greenstick fracture (he’d had a few by then) so he got a teacher to drop him to the hospital and the hospital staff called me from there. By the time i found him he was having a cast put on!! c

  13. Ugh, I am all too familiar with making dogs puke. Recently my husky not only ate 10 cookies (filled with chocolate and macedemia nuts of course! Both toxic.) but also 1/3rd of an avocado! (Also toxic.) We always keep a bottle of peroxide on hand and an oral syringe.

  14. Dear Blue was a good boy in bringing his find directly to you and not hiding to gobble it up! You have trained him well!! I do wish people would just get cats from the shelter to keep rat population down instead of resorting to horrible poison!
    I have gone 14+ for the little piggies so I can come help LOL

  15. wow that was a close call! good thing you saw it and acted so quickly! he is too adorable in that hammock. hey, you might be a pig farmer very soon!

  16. So pleased to hear that Blue is ok – and nice to see him recouperating in the hammock! It’s a shame he won’t associate being sick with picking up the poison, that might have put him off doing it again.

  17. So happy that sweet Blue is all right! What a scare that must have been! Love the contrast between Charlotte in makeup and Kupa, preening. But I guess your farmy life is like that, isn’t it–full of contrasts? As for the litter–for your sake, Celi, I’ll vote for 6 or 7! Have a great day with only good surprises!

  18. I voted 14 because I want to come help! I’ll be useless, of course, but I’ll bring the short 20-year-old, who wants to be a sustainable farmer when she grows up. 😉

  19. What a good job you recognised the poison. I take the equivalent of rat poison every day plus two other meds with the same function: I nearly bled to death over the last three days. But stopped this morning and am all weak and wambly like a newborn animal. Jock was a hero, sitting up all night to change dressings.

    I voted 8 piglets, because I’m willing to bet she has 4 teats each side. Kupa’s tail in that picture would make a fabulous evening cloak to wear to an Oscar ceremony! (Kidding)

    • I have had dealings with that people rat poison before and its terrible repercussions, find something else, it is dangerous and massively over used.. Oh and I went out and counted the teats, this is how much of a novice I am and she has 5 a side.. 10 in all.. c

      • It is a substitute for warfarin that I take: fluodinione (sp?) . Without it I wouldn’t be alive now. It’s the other stuff they give me that’s done the damage, but we’re getting sorted now, fingers and everything else crossed.

        • I am glad it is not warfarin, that stuff terrifies me! hope all goes well from now on, what a fright! c

  20. Gosh, Celi! (I’d use stronger language but I know children read your blog.) I read this post’s title and my heart sank. What a relief to read that Blue’s fine! I know personally of what rat poison can do to a dog. Now, thanks to Max, I also know about hydrogen peroxide and keep a bottle of it in the medicine cabinet. Whew!
    That is an awesome pic of Kupa and the perfect way to cleanse our minds of rat poison. 🙂
    I hope today is less stressful for everyone on the farmy. Good morning, Celi.

    • You know what, knowing Max, i almost called you before the vet, I knew you would know what to do! c

  21. You scared me with that title! and the first paragraph and…with the almost “dead” hammock picture. I am so glad he’s going to be okay. So so relieved. Charlotte looks phenomenally in need of some counseling: Please tell her that when she puts eyeliner all around her eyes, they just end up looking smaller. : )

  22. I am glad Blue is fine and wanted to show off his treasure first. My but The Dukr is looking chic. I cautiously voted for 8 or 9 being Charlottes first, but not knowing a thing about such matters – guessed.

  23. Rat Poison! I held my breath – click click – the story. Relief. Living on a big dairy farm I knew the ramifications. Charlotte has never looked lovelier. She glows with approaching motherhood. V.

  24. Phew!
    Charlotte’s looking fantastic, though I hope she doesn’t insist on a birthing mud bath 😉

  25. Glad that the silly little puppy is okay. I learn so much here– both practical + spiritual. Thanks.

  26. It makes me sick to think you and we could have lost Blue. Our precious Little Boy Blue. Just so scary! And what about TonTon’s father! Just tragic.
    I guess dogs will eat anything. My cousins Doberman once ate her pantyhose and had to be operated on to remove it.
    I voted for 8-9 piglets. In anticipation, I got out my copy of Babe and discovered it stops every few seconds. Could scream.

    • That would make me scream!! I really should watch that movie again, i have not sen it for years!! .. c

  27. You had an emotional roller coaster type of day, Celi. I find it really interesting that Blue brought you the rat poison, and didn’t ingest any. I would love to assign great meaning to his canine intuition, but however it came to be, good end results!! And Kupa is incredible. That shot really captures his glorious colors. Let’s hope today is just a bit calmer than yesterday. 🙂

  28. I am in love with Blue, and my heart has claimed all of your animals, particularly the pigs and goats. The Peacock – meh. I’m glad Blue okay; would have been crushed for you and everyone else!

  29. Charlotte, the harlot, is now on my screen saver! Nice that she applied make-up for the photo shoot. Good to hear that little puppy Blue is ok. I like the photo of him kicking back on the hammock! What a Farmy!!!!

    • C. I’m in Alaska with very sketchy Internet so hope this goes through! Whew for Blue! I was worried too! So glad it was just a close call! We all already love him!
      I’m going for 7 piglets! Don’t know why but 7 is a nice number for piggie, don’t you think?

  30. Just wanted to tell you I found your blog about a week ago and absolutely love it! The humour mixed in with the nitty gritty is so refreshing. Thank you for taking such good care of Mia. I know you are acting on compassion. There is a scripture ” blessed is the man who cares for his animals”. Wish I could remember the reference. I have sent my daughter in law your site address too. Her and my son have a goal to be more self sufficient. She will love this.
    Happy day to you!

    • Good morning carla and welcome to the farmy! Thank you so much for introducing yourself, I do love to know who is out there.. I look forward to seeing your daughter in law too! lovely.. c

  31. Scarey! Glad he’s ok – he looks like such a sweet (if mischievous) pup. Kupa is looking splendid!

  32. Well, on the litter side I am thinking 9, but pigs are very well known for at least 12 (the teats don’t matter–it always seemed to me) So Nine I shall say. The other three are probably on someone else’s pig. Scratch her ears for me…she has lots of work ahead of her!

    I detest rat poison and bars of the stuff have taken more than one fine dog over the rainbow bridge way before time. I refuse to have the stuff on our farm…my cats are important to me also…and a poisoned mouse will poison the eater of the poisoned mouse.


    • i agree, we have a fine bunch of mousers (including roosters and, peacocks) so we don’t have it out here either.. c

  33. Never a dull moment, eh? Glad Blue is OK. I didn’t know that Hydrogen Peroxide would induce vomiting. Hope I never need to know it.

  34. I keep hydrogen peroxide for cleaning cuts. So when I read about the one ounce I went to the cabinet to make sure I have a syringe just in case. Now I have to find out exactly what one ounce would be. The syringe is marked in cc’s or mm’s.

  35. At least Blue had the sense to bring his ‘treat’ to show to Miss C first! Good dog. Whew 🙂
    A little ‘me’ time for Char before the big day… she’ll not get much for a while afterwards.

  36. Seeing Blue sleeping in that gorgeous pink hammock brought a little tear to my eye. What a close call. Unpopular though it is, I voted 6 for Charlotte… hoping for your sake, possibly!

  37. Oh my God Celi! How scary! Puppies are always getting in trouble, and Blue is no exception 😉 I’ afraid…
    Take care!

  38. I hate pesticides and poisons with a passion for reasons like this one. When while on a smallholding a few years ago I had to declare war on rats, I employed the old-fashioned traps baited with bread and peanut butter. They couldn’t resist.

  39. What a good pup for bringing you his discovery. If you frequently trade with him when he has something in his mouth (by giving him something he likes even more) he will soon learn to hand (mouth) an item over when you tell him “Trade”. For some reason I am thinking 12 piglets.

    • That is an excellent idea carol.I shall teach him Trade! For the moment when i feed him i take food in and out of his mouth and mess with his bowl so he will let me take things from his mouth.. Lucky! c

  40. Oh so happy that little boy blue survived that close call. Kupa is a handsome chap.

  41. I’d say there are somewhere close to 1200 people worldwide today saying various versions of ‘Thank God Blue was show-off enough to bring his find straight to Mommy!’. Methinks there would have been real tears in many farmy ‘homes’ if the worst had come to the worst . . . As far as that human poison called ‘warfarin’ is concerned I SO agree with Celi: No, no, no and yes it has been suggested more than once to me too – no way!! Drink more water, eat heaps more greens, take more supplements like fish oil, do lots more exercise, lose weight etc etc etc!!!! As far as Charlotte ? 🙂 ? Why do I also vote for nine? Let’s see how close a number of us get . . .

    • I’m afraid it’s not as simple as saying no to warfarin or synthetic equivalent: I have four stents in my coronary arteries which if they block up with clotty blood, it’s curtains for me.
      Yes red meat and green veg, but with caution – they exaggerate the effect of the anti-coagulent, so I reduce the dose (from a quarter of a tablet a day, if I eat a steak or cabbage. – imagine the precision!)

      • It is a precise dose for sure and we certainly are not in a position to comment.. just worry for you that is all.. c

        • I very much do agree with Celi’s last statement! I do not know how it is elsewhere, but here Down Under the pathology nurse always comes 1-3 x a week to your home to take a blood sample and you get the results by phone that very afternoon [free Govt service]. I was commenting in a general and personal sense what I have studied, believe in and do, still studying natural therapies at the moment . . . very much a general comment!

  42. I too detest poisons, it’s a nasty way to die even if you are vermin. My dad’s Griffon ate mouse poison, didn’t realize it til he was feeling poorly (don’t think he ate a lot) so he ended up at the vet’s for the better part of a week. (EXPENSIVE!!!). My daughter didn’t realize her new dog was a counter surfer and he ate a pan of brownies. She did the peroxide trick. It didn’t stop him from surfing but when he swiped a giant gingerbread man he didn’t eat its chocolate buttons!

  43. When I saw your heading, I was reluctant to click on it in case it was bad news, so I was relieved to hear that Blue didn’t chew on the rat bait – it doesn’t bear thinking about. Hope he feels better soon, the pink hammock will help, for sure!

  44. Oh my goodness – never a dull moment on the farm. I am glad to hear Blue did not take the bait, poor fellow must have wondered about the nasty vomiting trick you pulled on him.

  45. Oh that darling boy snoozing exhaustedly in his pink hammock… I ached to cuddle him, and feel those soft folds of puppy skin!
    Darling Charlotte is going to have eleven piglets – just to let you know !!!!

  46. Thank god Blue is recovering. He has a little white angel pup in heaven. He told Blue that he had to drink that nasty stuff once when he swallowed a sock. Thankfully there wasn’t anything blue in his tummy. xx Smidge ps.. I’ll be posting my back door soon, probs in a day or two. It’s written, just not published. I’m so sorry this has taken so long, there’s so much catching up to do.. sigh.. time for bed! xx

  47. Oh shame! My naughty beagle puppie also drank a tub of blue rat poison and had to be rushed to the vet in town. Like one of your other readers they also put drops in her eyes that made her vomit profusely and everything turned out fine. Very scary though!

  48. That was a scary opening! Glad to see Blue sleeping it off in the hammock–adorable! Charlotte looks lovely, and Kupa would never be found wallowing in the mud. Tui is so cute in the nesting box.

  49. Whew! That was a close call with Blue. He looks so spent, lying in the pink hammock. Kupa’s tail photo is magnificent, and he clearly knows just how to pose. It must be very successful, with eggs continuing to be laid. The piglet poll was such fun. I love the way you keep coming up with new ideas.

  50. Poor baby Blue – hope recovery is tip top. When Zeb ate most of a leather bag earlier this year he was ill for weeks and vet said that making him vomit could be dangerous too, but you have no choice with poisons do you? Presumably the rat bait has a nice smell or taste to make it attractive to rats? I thought you had to put it down in a container so that only rats could get it, but maybe that is a naive townie’s thinking… Kupa’s tail has cheered me up, magnificent photo and I have voted for the smallest number of piglets – I do love a piglet though, so was tempted to vote for more 🙂

  51. I do think Blue and Molly must be related – we have to watch her very closely as everything she comes across goes in her mouth just like a small child. People here use rat poison for the little field mice and roof rats (instead of cleaning up their yard/landscape). The rats run out looking for water – we panic everything she is scrambling after something in the bushes – she has grabbed a slow mouse – and as you say they do not want to give them up. My vet sister-in-law says to keep ipecac syrup on hand to induce vomiting. You can find it in the drug store. It’s often in emergency kits. Do hope BLue is feeling better – that hammock pix would be cute except we know she feels bad.
    But the peacock tale is gorgeous! And the muddy pigplay! (Ella Dee noted we were both playing in the mud yesterday – how funny – I was thinking about your piggies when writing and started to ask for permission to use a cute – but got in a hurry)
    Well, must read on to catch up with today’s post!

  52. Oh thank god. Told Robert Blue’s OK. He had a sigh of relief. We have similar experiences with our pets in E. Horrible stuff. Thank god. 🙂

  53. We are reading these aloud in the car. Miss A was very happy Blue was ok. She loves how he would tackle and lick her. I am thankful too. And look at glorious Kupa! So Miss A did the actual poll. She guessed 15. Mr. N guesses 6. Mike guesses 9. I guess 7. I like odd numbers. 🙂

  54. Not going to press “Like” on this one. About to use rat poison down a hole, under a big ti plant. I’m afraid the rat(s) is/are going to destroy the root system that has just gotten established – they love the stuff, very starchy. Ergh. I already have reservations about using the stuff – I HAVE given the rat/s warning: “going to poison you soon. Get out while you can.”

    Sorry, Blue. Glad you’re okay!

  55. When my gilt had her first litter she had 11! And if Charlottes getting big! Good luck! 🙂 Hope blue recovers.

    • Oh I hope not 11, when she stands she does not look round at all, though she is eating well, but when she lies down her belly looks rounded.. we will see in about 7 days!! c

  56. That was quite a scare with Blue but I will remember this story & your vet’s solution just in case we ever run into the same situation. I don’t think we have rat poison around but there are other things as toxic – spilled antifreeze comes to mind.
    That peacock is so beautiful.

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