Dogs like to eat things they shouldn’t, and sometimes that means the unthinkable. If your dog ate a dead mouse (or anything decomposing for that matter), it’s important to act quickly. So what should you do in this situation?
If your dog has eaten a dead mouse, you should carefully monitor your dog’s behavior and condition for the next 24 hours. If you notice signs such as vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or lethargy, you should take your dog to the veterinarian immediately to be examined.
However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of your dog becoming ill from this occurrence. We’ll provide you tips on what to do if your dog eats a dead mouse and how to prevent it from happening again in the future.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
Realistically unless you watch your dog 24/7 you don’t know what they have eaten. You should always give your dog Greenies Dental Treats to clean and disinfect their teeth and gums.
One great way to prevent your dog from getting the chance to eat a dead mouse when on walks is using something like the TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash to keep them away from dangerous things.
Alternatively, another safe option would be the Gentle Muzzle Guard for Dogs which won’t allow them to eat dead animals.
What Happens if a Dog Eats a Dead Mouse?
There are several things that can happen to a dog when it happens to eat a dead mouse. A dog may or may not develop any health issues from doing so, but it’s still best to err on the side of caution. Usually, when a dog eats a dead animal, it may experience any of the following:
- Gastrointestinal Disturbances – your dog may vomit or have diarrhea. You may observe that he or she will lose appetite, and may feel weak or lethargic.
- Secondary Poisoning – this is more serious and it happens when a dog eats a mouse or rat that has been poisoned.
- Internal Parasites & Bacterial Infection – Your dog might pick up worms and other bacterial infections from eating a dead mouse.
In some cases, dogs can just recover from an upset stomach caused by eating a dead thing. If a dog is okay and there are no changes in behavior, then most likely you don’t have to be too concerned.
However, if you notice signs like lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea, then it’s time to pay the veterinarian a visit.
At this point, you have to give the veterinarian complete details of what happened. You should let the vet know how much of the dead mouse has the dog eaten, or how long the mouse has been dead. If you administered rat poison in your own home, let the vet know that as well.
Rodenticides, in the form of rat bait poison, can pose danger for dogs and other wildlife. In this case, it will result in secondary poisoning, which happens when a dog eats a dead animal that died from being poisoned.
Rat poison residue may still be present in the stomach of the dead mouse and this could be the reason for poisoning in your dogs.
That being said, sharing details of the incident will be helpful for the vet in creating a management plan.
A dog that eats a dead animal carrying parasites can also pick up those parasites. Roundworms are a common worm parasite that your dog may have once he ingests the dead animal. Your beloved pooch can also contract leptospirosis.
The good news is that most dogs are given a vaccine against leptospirosis, so make sure your dog’s shots are updated.
Understand that eating a mouse (or rodent in general) can be dangerous for your dog. It can bring a host of health problems like intestinal worms and secondary poisoning. If this happens, don’t panic.
Observe your dog for any gastric disturbances. If you notice your dog has been feeling weak since the incident, the best thing to do is contact a veterinarian.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Dead Bird
Can a Dog Digest a Mouse?
Dogs usually handle raw meat so they should be fine if they ate a mouse, assuming that the mouse was not poisoned. Simply monitor your dog for 48 hours and if it was able to poop, then it has successfully digested what he ate.
On the other hand, if your dog has vomiting and diarrhea following the incident, it only means your dog didn’t handle it well. In this case, bring him to the vet.
Can a Dog Get Rabies From Eating a Dead Mouse?
Getting rabies from a dead mouse is a common worry for many dog owners. But the short answer is no – dogs cannot contract rabies just by being in contact with a mouse.
It doesn’t even matter if the mouse is dead or alive, or if the dog licked it or the dog swallowed the mouse whole – mice don’t carry rabies in them and won’t infect dogs with rabies virus.
My Dog Ate a Dead Mouse. What Should I Do?
If you are certain your dog ate a dead mouse, the best thing to do is to monitor his or her reaction. Look out for signs such as vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and lethargy. These symptoms warrant a visit to the vet.
You will know if the case is serious since your dog’s behavior will be obvious. If you want peace of mind, call your vet – whether or not signs are present.
My Dog Ate a Dead Mouse That Was Poisoned
It’s alarming to think that a dog ate a dead mouse because you don’t know the cause of its death. Yet, if the cause of death is known, such as rat poison, it becomes more worrisome because of the risk of secondary poisoning in dogs.
Either way, it’s best to contact the vet and let them know about what happened. You can also use techniques to get your dog to vomit in the hopes of reducing the amount of poison ingested.
In the meantime, if you have a plan to use poison to eliminate rodents in your area, think it over.
There are other ways to do it. In a previous article, we’ve discussed how you can get rid of mice in your backyard, including natural means and using traps.
You might also enjoy our post on How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Backyard
Can a Poisoned Mouse Kill a Dog?
It’s hard to say if a poisoned mouse can kill a dog as there are variables to consider. The first thing to remember is that if a dog directly had contact with the poison, call the vet immediately.
You don’t have to wait to find out how much of the poison was touched – just contact the vet and tell them what happened.
On the other hand, if the dog ate a poisoned mouse, certain factors may help assess the severity of the secondary poisoning.
For instance, the size or weight of the dog will matter; a smaller dog who ate a big poisoned mouse will more likely get poisoned compared to a large breed that ate a tiny mouse.
The type of rat poison also matters since some types are faster-acting than others. If rat poison is extremely necessary, you may want to go for pet-friendly rat poisons, such as RatX Rat and Mice Killer.
My Dog Ate a Dead Mouse With Maggots
The maggots themselves shouldn’t be a big issue at all, they’ll pass right through your dog’s digestive system. The more concerning part here would be I’d be what the maggots were attached to that your dog seemed to find tasty.
Maggots tend to be attracted to and found on rotten and decaying stuff, which means that it probably wouldn’t be the best thing for your pup to eat.
Can Dogs Get Worms From Eating Maggots?
A dog’s digestive system is strong and usually won’t get seriously sick if they ate something bad in your backyard. At some point, even as puppies, they will end up eating nesting things they find while exploring your yard.
Among the gross finds that your dog may ingest are maggots. These maggots may have gathered in spots where there are dead animals, like a mouse perhaps. And if your dog may have eaten them, it’s only natural to worry.
Maggots, however, are not poisonous when eaten and may not cause any health problems. But if your dog has eaten another animals’ feces which has maggots on it, then that’s a different story. In this case, a dog can get worms and parasites so it would be time to visit the vet for deworming.
How Do You Clean a Dog’s Mouth After Eating a Mouse?
Most of the time, cleaning a dog’s mouth after eating something nasty is not necessary if you’re worried about health problems that may arise. But it’s good to think that your dog kisses you with a clean mouth.
If you’re bothered by the thought that your dog is always close to you and yet keeps putting his mouth anywhere dirty, then you would want to make sure the mouth stays clean. Below are quick tips on how to clean your dog’s mouth:
- After realizing that your dog ate a dead mouse, give him plenty of water to drink followed by dental chews. The chews will help remove debris from the mouth and in between teeth. Go for a vet-recommended one, like Greenies Dental Treats.
- Next is to use a soft cloth and gently wipe your dog’s mouth, including the gums.
- Lastly, you can give a mouthwash that’s formulated especially for dogs to give that fresh doggy breath. One recommended product you can try is Petlab Co.’s Dental Formula, which doesn’t require brushing of dog teeth.
- Brushing can still be included in your dog’s oral care if you want to. But if you know you can’t keep your dog still for a toothbrush session, there’s always the option of toothbrush dental chews. Check out this awesome toothbrush and toothpaste chew kit from Ark Naturals.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Dead Frog
How to Stop Dogs From Eating Dead Mice
When you have to deal with your dog’s weird eating habits on a regular basis, it’s time to think of some strategies to make sure he doesn’t get attracted to dead things.
Here are two ways to prevent dogs from eating whatever it sees:
- Leash Your Dog – when you walk your dog, put him on a leash, preferably a short one, to stop him from wandering too far and stumbling upon dead things
- Train Your Dog – As a puppy, it’s best to teach the leave it command. If you have an older dog, work with an animal behaviorist to make sure your dog learns how to leave things when told to.
Conclusion: My Dog ate a Dead Mouse: What Should I Do
If your dog ate a dead mouse, the first thing to do is to stay calm and not panic. Your dog will likely react by having a stomach upset. If your dog remains fine, then there’s nothing to worry and their immune system may have worked well.
If you observe your dog’s behavior has changed since eating the dead mouse, the best course of action is to take him to the vet.