One of the most common household poisons that dogs eat is roach bait. The poison is encased in food tasty enough to attract roaches. Unfortunately, it’s also attractive enough to attract hungry dogs and puppies.
Dogs and puppies explore the world with their mouths. They will put anything and everything into their mouths – including insect bait stations.
Can roach poison kill a dog?
Fortunately, it takes a fraction of a dose of poison to kill a cockroach than it does to kill a dog or a puppy. In recent decades, over the counter roach bait stations like Hot Shot use much milder insecticides than a professional exterminator would.
You may read on the Internet or hear someone who knows someone who’s friend’s cousin’s dog ate a bait station and didn’t even burp. These stories are true – some dogs seem to have constitutions like iron – but that dog is NOT your dog. Your dog has unique medical needs and a unique constitution.
What to do if your dog eats roach poison?
Do not wait for your dog to start showing symptoms to contact your vet and begin emergency treatment. By the time your dog begins showing symptoms, it could be too late. This is especially important for puppies and toy dogs as they are more apt to die from roach bait stations than older, larger dogs.
If your vet is not open or somehow you cannot get to an emergency vet right away, call the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center at 188 – 426- 4435. This is NOT a free call. The fee for getting information is worth every penny if it saves your pet’s life.
Get the Packaging and Box
To treat best your dog, the vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center will need to know what the active ingredient (the poisonous part) is. Some dogs will eat part of or the entire plastic bait station to get to the sweet treat inside. The vet or ASPCA representative will need to know this, too.
If the packaging is gone or if the dog is showing signs of extreme poisoning, at least get the brand name of the roach boat (like Hot Shot). Some ingredients are best treated by getting the dog to vomit but some do not. The Hot Shot brand has many products and not all of them have the same ingredient.
Other Things Your Vet May Need to Know
If you are going to your usual vet, then he or she will already know your dog’s past medical history. If going to a new or emergency vet, the vet may need to know if the dog is on any medication or is being treated for illnesses or injuries.
In an ideal world, you will be able to tell your vet the exact time your dog ate the roach baits. However, we do not live in an ideal world. Give your best guess.
How Much Plastic Did the Dog Eat?
For some dogs and puppies, the plastic packaging is far more dangerous than the active ingredient. Plastic is indigestible and can cause a blockage in your pet’s digestive tract. A blockage can kill a dog.
If you have someone else in the home with you, get them to check the other roach bait stations in the home. If any are missing, chances are they are in your dog. Again, this is information that your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center need to know.
Dangerous Symptoms of Poisoning
Symptoms of insecticide poisoning include tremors or even full-blown seizures; sudden diarrhea; suddenly becoming very tired; drooling more than usual; urinating more than usual; watering of the eyes and problems breathing.
Vomiting is also a common symptom. The vomiting may come on very suddenly, so do be sympathetic if the dog cannot get outside in time. Excessive drooling, lip licking or pacing can be signs that a dog is just about to vomit. If the dog does vomit, took to see what he or she brings up. The vet will need to know this.
Dangerous Symptoms of Digestive System Blockage
If the dog chewed the bait station into small bits than the chances of them passing out with the stool are good. But dogs tend not to chew their food well. Part of the plastic bait station (or even the entire bait station itself swallowed by more ambitious dogs) can block up the stomach or intestine of dogs or puppies.
Symptoms that need immediate attention from a vet include not being able to pass stool, vomiting, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. This pain makes it hard for the dog to get comfortable and may not like to be touched around the belly. These symptoms start about 3 to 8 hours after swallowing the offending material.
Fortunately, poisoning by insect bait stations is preventable. Place the bait stations in areas where the dogs cannot get to, but roaches can. For example, under the sink is a good place – if the bottom of the sink is enclosed in a cupboard.
Get down on your hands and knees to get a dog’s eye view of where things are. This will help you see where your dog can wriggle into when everyone’s back is turned.