Rat Poison First Aid

First Aid and Symptoms of Rat Poison Ingestion

poison bottles
Rat poison is similar to blood thinners. Vstock LLC / Getty Images

The most common types of rat poison use a common blood thinner to cause internal bleeding in rodents. Touching rat poison is as safe as handling blood thinning medication and is generally not harmful. Ingesting rat poison, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous.

Symptoms of Rat Poison Ingestion

Most rat poison uses a common blood thinner used by heart attack and stroke victims, warfarin or Coumadin®.

Another type of rat poison uses thallium sulfate as the active ingredient. Some of the symptoms are similar, and because symptoms may take hours or days to appear, there may not be any way to see which type of poison was ingested.

Victims that exhibit more than one symptom from this list may have ingested one or both types of rat poison.

  • nosebleeds
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine
  • bloody diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • extensive bruising
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath

Of course, all of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions as well. Do not try to diagnose the victim's condition, always follow conventional suggestions about when to call 911. For non-emergencies that you think may be related to rat poison, call a doctor or Poison Control Center. The national number for Poison Control is 1-800-222-1222.

Rat Poison First Aid

If ingestion of rat poison has just occurred, contact Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

More than likely, the victim will need medical attention immediately.

Activated charcoal and syrup of ipecac are available over the counter for immediate treatment of poison ingestion. Never use activated charcoal or syrup of ipecac unless directed to do so by Poison Control!


Reigart, J. Routt, M.D., and James R.


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