For those who use pets (dogs and cats) to rat for them....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lady of McCamley, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you do anything to protect your animal's health when they "rat?"

    My rescue Rat Terrier caught and killed his first rat today. [​IMG] I'm so happy as I've trained him to not chase the chickens, and he runs through the flock now to chase squirrels and rats without touching chickens!!!! [​IMG]

    I'm an old rural gal who grew up with barn cats and dogs that naturally chased vermin, and never thought twice.

    But everything is more "aware" now, and I'm wondering what, if anything, should I do to protect my animals health other than having it current on vaccinations (which he is)

    I know rats carry a lot of ugly disease including bacteria.

    And...of course....there's the fact that my Rattie is also my favorite Netflix companion.

    Do I gently suggest he start using mouthwash? (The lips that touch vermin shall never touch mine?...or rather lick my face again?)

    In all seriousness, should you do anything other than make sure the animal is not injured after any trapping?

    I'm hoping this becomes a regular thing for my guy (he was justly rewarded with a treat) when we are on our nightly chores and chicken lock up....he's been stalking and lurking for weeks now....he's had his first "kill."

    I am, of course, not letting him eat his prey as that would beg for troubles. (That was a great way for tape worms, I remember.)

    Thanks for the advice.

    LofMc
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    Congrats on the first mouse catch! Good dog!

    Having dogs and cats that like mice, I know where you're coming from. Whenever I see them, I take the prey away, because of the risk of worms. But it isn't always possible, as they often catch them when we don't know (and leave guts where we walk [​IMG]).

    I'd just make sure you keep up on his worm pills & vaccines, and if you are worried about him licking you (which isn't always possible to avoid) try brushing his teeth. I don't think he'll get injured catching rats/mice...but who knows, always possible. Checking him over for injuries on a regular basis (maybe once a week) would be good.

    It sounds like you've got pretty much everything under control. I hope your dog keeps up the good work!
     
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  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm thinking just keep up on wormers and vaccinations as well. I may put a doggie wash in his water bowl (you can get them for dental health which also covers oral health).

    Just a clarification...it was a rat...moderately large.

    I don't worry about mice for injury (just worms and possible disease), but we get really large rats around here, and they can tear up a dog's muzzle. (There is a group with professional Rat Terriers that go around hiring out their services, and they make mention of the battle scars on the muzzles).

    Rats can carry a number of diseases which are worrisome for man, and dogs, such as Leptospirosis, Pasutrella, and Salmonella, therein lies the thoughts.

    Thank you for your input.

    Like I said, I grew up in rural country where we never gave a second thought to those who served us. And yes, I've come across those trails as well. I actually had an indoor/outdoor cat as a childhood pet who insisted on bringing me his prey in tribute. I learned to pick up my clothes off my bedroom floor. [​IMG]

    LofMc
     
  4. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    I understood. We get some pretty big rats too. If your dog does get hurt, then make sure you clean it out well and watch well for infection. That could turn out nasty.

    Thankfully our animals don't bring their dead prey in the house...just outside the door, places that we use a lot in the yard, etc. I would not like to find something like that inside! [​IMG]
     
  5. kittycat1356

    kittycat1356 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have cats who hunt around here. One of the cats killed a huge rat about 2 weeks ago, but she was bit in the process. ( We only saw the dead rat and a bite from a rodent on her hind leg) I put a little bit of antibiotic ointment on it, and she's fine. I didn't even knew he had rats until I saw the dead one, it could definitely kill chickens if it wanted to.

    As for the oral hygiene, may I recommend dental mint bones by dreambone, I'm under the impression the kill bacteria. But you could always look up antibacterial foods (I believe Apples and oranges are) and give him some "treats" after a kill.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Grats to you and your pup on the rat kill!!
    I don't let my dog lick my skin, hands once in a while, feet in the summer, but never my face...because of the other things they eat and lick.
    Check for wounds for sure, maybe ask your vet if there are any other precautions to take.
     
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  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Talked with my daughter who is a vet tech...she said just don't let him eat it (which I'll try not to if I know he's caught it...which I should as he is out with me in the chicken yard, never alone).

    I have some doggie mouth wash for oral health that I'll put in his dog bowl and check him for possible rat bites regularly.

    That with keeping up with his vaccinations and worming should do it.

    Now hopefully he'll make a regular hunt of it :D

    LofMc
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Hopefully you can train him to bring them to you for a special treat and lots of dog love(cause even a special treat might not cut it over a fresh rat entree). :D
     
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  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    NO dog or cat ever licks my face! They are busy licking unmentionable areas and eating awful stuff in the yard on a daily basis, so my face is always off limits! Loving the dog or cat is great, but remember what they licked last before you. How great to have a successful ratter! My barn cats always let me know that rats were my problem, not theirs. Mary
     
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  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I would worry if the dog got any puncture wounds from rats - punctures are never good however inflicted. Maybe go to the vet for that or ask in advance what advice he would give.

    Maybe it's worth it to hire professional ratters to protect your dog.
     

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