Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Ants Go Marching One by One

Did you know?
Summer is synonymous with ants. Though none of us like to admit it, I'm sure we've all had trouble with ants at some time. They seem to appear out of nowhere, marching to and fro in a long black line having found some tasty food source in the pantry or on the kitchen counter. One of the methods used to stem the ant take over are the little traps. The ant crawls in, takes some of the bait, crawls out and takes it back to the nest to die. But, what if your pet finds the trap and chews it up. Is it dangerous? Maybe, but not for the reason you might think.

Let me tell you why!
There are a variety of ant traps on the market. Most contain a small percentage of a substance poisonous for the ants, and a large percentage of a sugary or greasy substance to attract the ants to eat the poison. For instance, the packaging on Raid Ant Baits lists n-ethyl perfluorooctanesulfonamide .5% and 99.5% inert ingredients. The .5% is so small that there is no danger to your animal if ingested.

Other traps contain a chemical commonly used to kill fleas and if ingested is just as benign. The inert ingredient for the Raid trap happens to be peanut butter. So of course, your dog smells a treat and tries to chew it up to get to the peanut butter!

So if an ant trap is ingested, the main concern is the potential for obstruction if the object or container becomes lodged in the stomach or intestines. If your dog chewed up one of the plastic traps and consumed some of the sharp pieces we recommend you feed several small pieces of bread or other type of fiber that can help the pieces pass through the animal without harm. Keep an eye on him/her to make sure eating, drinking, and defecation all continue as normal. Also, you can expect some vomiting and maybe even a little diarrhea from eating a non-food item. If the vomiting or diarrhea becomes persistent and your dog's attitude or behavior changes, get in to see the vet right away.

The moral of the story...don't let those ants march all over you.

1 comment:

D.J. said...

Thank you for this--my dog just picked up one of the old Raid traps lying around and brought it over to me--no chewing or anything like that, but still, I thought he could be in trouble. I was semi-hysterical until I read this post. Thanks!