HEALTH: poisons

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Despite their wariness of medicines, some rats will eat unsuitable and even dangerous things, such as solvent-rich substances like shoe-whitener and glue. They will also e.g. chew tobacco and inhale cannabis-smoke and solvents. These things can make them very ill, or even kill them.

They must be kept away from anything containing lead, such as very old pipes or wallpaper, and plastic "jumping beans". Lead tastes sweet to them and they will often eat it, but if they do they will die: and if a nursing doe eats lead her litter will die with her. [N.B. So-called "lead pencils" do not contain real lead.]

The eating of soap and antiseptic cream, however, does not seem to cause any injury.

If you are unlucky enough to have a rat swallow rat-poison, a hefty shot of Vitamin K (from your vet, by intramuscular injection) may help against the effects of Warfarin by encouraging blood-clotting: but the odds are not good.