Rodents are present in Missouri year round, but when it starts to get cold outside we start to see more mice indoors. Mice can be very annoying to get rid of. Why should you try to rid the mice from your house? Not only do they cause damage to homes and destroy food, they can spread a number of diseases. Mouse urine can carry leptospirosis, bacteria that can infect you and your pets and causes serious liver or kidney damage! We recommend vaccinating dogs for leptospirosis every year which can help prevent your dogs from picking up this disease. Other diseases rodents can spread to humans include hantavirus, rat-bite fever, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.
What should you do about a rodent infestation? The Center of Disease Control has some tips on cleaning up an infestation at http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/index.html.
One thing we DON’T recommend is the use of poisons especially if you have children or pets. Rodent poisons are designed to taste good, so even picky dogs will eat poison if they can get to it! Even if you have the poison out of reach of your pet, your pet can ingest enough poison to be harmful by eating a poisoned rodent’s remains.
This is a picture of rat poison that a dog ingested. The little dog that ate this is a very picky eater, but that didn’t stop him from eating the ENTIRE PACKAGE (including the package). Luckily for this pet, his owner brought him in right away and we were able to get most of the poison out of his stomach and treat him before it was too late.