Rabbit Poison

One of the joys of living in the Western Bay of Plenty is enjoying our beautiful coastline and beaches with our canine companions. However high rabbit numbers in the Papamoa area have been destroying the dune vegetation, and Environment Bay of Plenty have laid baits as part of their annual rabbit control programme.
 
 
 
The bait is dyed bright green in colour, and warning signs will be put up at each bait site and kept up for several months afterwards. The area of dunes affected extends from Sunrise Ave through to Hartford Ave. 
 
Baits contain a poison called Pindone, which is an anticoagulant. This drug interacts with the body's supply of Vitamin K, which is essential in the formation of clotting factors in the blood stream. Without these essential clotting factors, uncontrolled bleeding can occur. Dogs are unlikely to be affected by eating a rabbit poisoned by the drug, but are at risk if they directly eat the bait. Pindone is similar to the poisons found in household rat/mouse bait, and the following information also applies if your pet ingests these toxins. 
 
Symptoms of poisoning can take several days to develop after ingestion. Animals can bleed internally, and signs may include; 
  1. lethargy, pale gums 
  2. blood in the faeces or urine 
  3. bruising under the skin 
  4. stiffness/lameness from bleeding into joints 
  5. breathing difficulties 
Prevention is the best approach, so keep dogs on a lead if anywhere in the region where baits have been laid. 
 
If there is a chance your dog did have access to the bait while out for a walk, contact us immediately. If ingestion is recent, we can make them vomit the poison before too much is absorbed. 
 
Treatment will depend on the severity of the toxicity and timing of ingestion. Blood is often taken for clotting tests and to check the severity of anaemia. Treatment may be as simple as giving Vitamin K tablets for several weeks, or may require hospitalisation and intensive therapy such as blood transfusions. In some cases even with the most intensive treatment some animals may die, so prevention is essential.