Evidence of a sudden increase in α-chloralose poisoning in dogs and cats in the Netherlands between 2018 and 2021

Marieke A Dijkman, Joris H Robben, Antoinette J H P van Riel, Dylan W de Lange

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BACKGROUND: After changes in European Union biocide legislation, the Dutch Poisons Information Center observed a strong increase in information requests concerning dogs and cats exposed to α-chloralose. To investigate whether α-chloralose-based rodenticides are safe for non-professional use, additional information regarding poisoning scenarios and clinical course was collected.

METHODS: Veterinarians reporting α-chloralose exposure over a 2.5-year period were contacted by mail for follow-up information concerning exposure scenario, product formulation, clinical course and treatment, and outcome. In total, information was collected for 96 dogs and 41 cats.

RESULTS: Fifty-three of 96 dogs and 17 of 19 cats known to have been exposed to α-chloralose-based rodenticides developed signs of central nervous system (CNS) depression or sensory-induced CNS excitation. Mortality in dogs and cats following exposure was 1% and 18%, respectively. An additional 22 cats presented with clinical signs suggestive of α-chloralose poisoning, with a mortality of 5%.

LIMITATIONS: Exposure to α-chloralose was not confirmed by biochemical analyses.

CONCLUSION: Dogs and especially cats were at risk of poisoning from α-chloralose. If criteria such as acute toxicity and risk of (secondary) poisoning are applied during the approval of α-chloralose-based rodenticides, similar to anticoagulant-based rodenticides, it can be concluded that α-chloralose is also not safe for non-professional use.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2342
JournalVeterinary Record
Issue number1
Early online date31 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2023


  • canine poisoning
  • feline poisoning
  • rodenticide
  • toxicology
  • α-chloralose


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