Veterinarians say a newer toxin in rodent poison is deadlier to animals than previous ingredients. Unfortunately, News 18's Savanna Tomei knows this from experience.
The main ingredient used in pest control products used to be an anticoagulant. It would cause internal bleeding until death.
A few years ago, the FDA asked manufacturers to come up with a different solution that would be safer if it was accidentally ingested by kids.
They came up with Bromethalin. It's a neurological toxin used in most pest control substances these days.
“I don't feel that the FDA really made a difference in protecting pets,” said Dr. Todd Leavitt of Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital in Eau Claire. “Unfortunately a lot of those pass away even before we can see them."
The problem? Bromethalin works faster, and there's no antidote.
"The difference now, with Bromethalin compared to the anticoagulants, is that anticoagulants took a while to take effect, about two days before animals got sick, and it also had an antidote,” Leavitt said. “Whereas Bromethalin nowadays does not. It's very rapid, and it has no antidote and it's very lethal."
The chemical causes neurological problems like paralysis, blindness, and seizures until death.
Last week, Savanna Tomei's 7-month-old kitten Atlas was listless and could barely walk. They found he had chewed through a sealed bag of mouse poison. They thought it was stored high up enough in a spot where their cats couldn't get to it. Atlas has been in an animal hospital for almost a week, and it doesn't look good.
Vets say if you need to use rodent poison, read the label, and pick the product that uses the anticoagulant. If your animal accidentally ingests it, it may not be fatal if you catch it in time. The sooner you take them to an animal hospital, the better their chances of survival.