My Dog Ate Combat Roach Bait And Seems Fine – What Should I Do?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Combat roach bait contains two substances that are toxic to roaches and other insects, but they are minimally harmful to dogs
  • Because roach bait contains sugars, dogs find it tasty and will probably eat it if they find some.
  • If your dog eats roach bait, contact your vet and report the incident.
  • The greatest risk of damage from Combat roach bait occurs when dogs ingest the plastic or metal wrappers with the bait.

In some ways, dogs are like vacuum cleaners. Being curious creatures who explore with their mouths, they tend to suck up lots of non-food items. So, what happens if your pooch inhales Combat roach bait?

Fortunately, as long as your pup has a small amount or only licks at the bait, he’s not at high risk of poisoning. He can still have digestive upset with drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting. However, if your pooch ingests a lot of bait or swallows the plastic packaging, there can be serious complications. So, you should contact your veterinarian whenever Fido eats any roach poison.

Read on to find out when and how Combat roach bait can harm your dog.

How Much Combat Roach Bait Is Toxic to Dogs?

The toxic ingredients in Combat Roach Bait are poisonous for insects, but they have a wide margin of safety for dogs. Additionally, a piece of bait has only about 0.05% Fipronil or 2% Hydramethylnon, which are the toxins used in Combat. The rest of the ingredients(98% by weight) consist of non-toxic sugars and preservatives. If your pup eats or licks a small piece, he may feel sick and drool, vomit, or have diarrhea, but he’s not likely to be in serious trouble. The packaging actually states, “A dog of 10 pounds will have to eat 50 trays of combat bait before they start experiencing serious effects.”

If your dog eats roach bait, the more significant risk comes from eating the plastic or metal packaging. These materials can get stuck in the throat and cause your dog to choke, or they may lodge in the digestive tract creating an obstruction. If your dog eats some Combat Roach Bait package and all, or if he ingests a lot of bait, call your veterinarian.

Licking or eating a piece of Combat roach bait may make your dog sick, but it’s not likely to poison him. When dogs ingest a lot of bait, such as several trays of bait, it might reach toxic levels. However, a greater risk occurs if your pooch swallows the packaging with the bait.

What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Combat Roach Bait?

When you know your dog has eaten Combat roach bait, check the area for any packaging and observe your dog. If you notice signs of choking such as heavy drooling, difficulty breathing, pawing at the mouth, and gagging, you may be able to remove the blockage at home:

  • Calmly approach your dog and gently open his mouth
  • Check the back of the throat for foreign material
  • If you can see the object, and it’s not lodged in the soft tissues, carefully try to remove it. You may want to use tongs so that you don’t risk being bitten.

If your dog struggles, the item won’t budge, or you can’t see the foreign body, take your dog to the vet. Don’t risk pushing the materials further into the throat.

Dogs that aren’t choking but are showing signs of a reaction to the roach bait should be taken to the vet. Watch for symptoms that include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Regurgitation
  • Shivering 
  • Seizures
  • lethargy

If your dog is acting normally, remove any remaining bait from the area. Rinse his mouth with water to remove any poison residue. Check to see if Fido ingested the packaging, and call your veterinarian. The doctor may want to examine your dog and run diagnostic tests to locate the foreign bodies. 

When your dog eats roach bait, you should observe your pooch for signs of distress and act accordingly. Depending on how your dog behaves, you may need to take him to the vet promptly, or you may be able to try to help him at home.

What Should You Do Immediately If You Suspect Your Dog Has Been Poisoned by Combat Roach Bait?

The sugars in Combat roach bait make it appealing to dogs, but it takes a lot of bait to poison your pup. If your pooch finds your store of pesticides and ingests several trays, you may notice more than digestive upset. Immediately inform your vet and head to the clinic any time you observe signs like:

  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive urination
  • Shivering
  • Uncoordinated gait
  • Seizures

Other problems can occur if your dog eats Combat. If you notice signs of choking(listed above), carefully open his mouth and check to see if the object is visible at the back of the throat. You may be able to remove the obstruction if your dog is compliant and the packaging moves easily, but don’t risk stressing your dog or pushing the materials deeper into the pharynx.

It takes a lot of roach bait to poison your furbaby. If you notice signs like shivering, seizures, and excessive coordination, take your dog to the clinic immediately. If you think your dog is choking on the packaging, see if you can remove the object or get your pooch to the vet.

What if My Dog Ate a Lot of Combat Roach Bait But Is Acting Normal?

Fortunately, it takes a huge amount of combat roach bait to poison a dog. Even if your pup eats several trays of bait, the symptoms of toxicity are usually not life-threatening. If your dog is acting normally immediately after eating roach bait, it doesn’t mean he’s safe. Symptoms of different conditions may take hours or a few days to surface.

  • Signs of a toxic reaction to roach poisoning may not appear for 30 minutes to 2 hours or more. 
  • Signs of obstruction usually take several hours to a day or more to manifest.

If your dog appears normal after eating lots of roach bait, you should keep him calm and monitor him for the next several hours. Contact your veterinarian and let him know approximately how much Combat your pooch ingested and whether you think any packaging was eaten.

If your dog ate a lot of roach poison but seems normal, he may not be out of the woods. It may take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few days before symptoms of trouble surface. Notify your vet and closely monitor your dog for several hours.

Signs of Combat Roach Bait Poisoning

When dogs eat Combat Roach Bait, the poison may cause mild digestive upset in smaller quantities. If your pooch swallows copious amounts of bait or has an underlying condition that makes him extra sensitive to the chemicals, there may be more serious symptoms. Signs of poisoning may include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Hypersalivation
  • Lethargy
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Incoordination
  • Excessive urination
  • Muscle tremors/shivering
  • Seizures

Even if your dog doesn’t eat enough Combat to be poisoned, the packaging can cause him to choke or to have an obstruction.

Signs of choking include:

  • Panting or wheezing
  • Gagging
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at the face
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hunched appearance
  • Trembling

Signs of an obstruction include:

  • Vomiting
  • Early diarrhea followed by constipation and straining to defecate later on
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pain
  • Restlessness/reluctance to lie down
  • Hunched appearance
  • Flatulence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

The poison in Combat roach bait usually causes digestive upset, but if your dog eats a lot of bait or he has an underlying condition, you may see signs of toxicity like muscle tremors, seizures, and incoordination. There are also symptoms of other conditions you need to watch out for. 

What Happens to Dogs When They Eat Combat Roach Bait?

The sugar and preservatives in Combat roach bait are designed to attract roaches, but they’re also appealing to canines. When our furbabies come across a package of roach poison, they usually try to eat it. Fortunately, the poisons aren’t terribly toxic to dogs, and canine systems only absorb about 5% of the chemicals. The chemicals usually cause mild digestive upset.

Unfortunately, dogs usually eat packaging with the bait. These materials may have sharp edges that can damage the soft tissues of the esophagus and digestive tract. They can also become stuck in the esophagus and cause choking. When your dog chokes on an item, he can’t get oxygen to the lungs or bloodstream and will suffocate without intervention. If the packaging makes it down the throat, it can still lodge in the gastrointestinal system and cause an obstruction. 

Dogs like the sweet taste of Combat roach bait and often try to eat it when they find it. The poisons usually only cause mild upset, but if they eat the packaging, there can be trouble. Plastic or metal wrappings can cause choking or obstructions.

Is Combat Roach Bait Toxic to Dogs?

The poisons in Combat roach bait are Fipronil and Hydramethylnon. Both substances occur in small dosages in the bait, so they are rarely toxic to dogs. 

Fipronil affects the central nervous system of house pests like ants and roaches. However, the canine system doesn’t absorb the chemical very well. If your dog eats fipronil, he will excrete most of it in his urine and feces. This chemical is also used in topical flea and tick treatments like Frontline.

Hydramethylnon attacks cell organelles and interferes with energy production in insects. Like Fipronil, it has minimal effects on mammals. Most of the chemical is excreted rather than absorbed.

There are two poisons that are commonly found in Combat roach bait. They are rarely toxic to dogs. The canine system excretes more of the toxic chemicals than it absorbs. . One of the poisons is also used in topical flea and tick treatments.

How Will My Vet Treat My Dog After He Eats Combat Roach Bait?

If your dog actually eats enough Combat to reach toxic levels, your veterinarian will carefully examine your pooch and may:

  • Induce vomiting to remove any poison residue
  • Administer activated charcoal to bind the toxic chemicals
  • Provide IV fluids as supportive care
  • Give anticonvulsant medications if your dog is seizing or has tremors
  • Provide oxygen if your pooch is having difficulty breathing

If the packaging lodges in the throat and causes your dog to choke, the doctor will initiate emergency care that may include:

  • Providing oxygen as supportive care
  • Sedating your dog to relax the throat muscles
  • Attempting to remove the foreign body
  • If the object will not move, your doctor may perform a tracheotomy to establish an airway

When the physical exam and diagnostic tests or procedures reveal obstruction, the vet will treat your pooch by:

  • Giving IV fluids as supportive care
  • Surgically removing the obstruction
  • Providing anti-inflammatory medications to reduce tissue swelling
  • Administering pain medication

The treatment will vary depending on your dog’s symptoms and the veterinarian’s findings. If poisoning is suspected, the doctor will work to reduce exposure and provide supportive care. Emergency care is initiated for choking. In the case of obstruction, your doctor will perform surgery and provide supportive care.

How Long Will it Take for My Dog to Recover After He Eats Combat Roach Bait?

The recovery period your dog needs after eating Combat roach bait varies depending on its effects. If dogs experience poisoning from Combat roach bait, the symptoms will usually resolve in a few days. Dogs that choke on packaging usually need 1-2 days to heal from localized damage and inflammation. For dogs that require surgery, the recovery period usually takes 4-6 weeks.

The time it takes your dog to recover after he eats roach bait will depend on how the insecticide affects him. Mild symptoms can clear up in a day or two, but it takes 4-6 weeks to recover from surgery.

The Final Woof

Combat roach bait contains two substances that are toxic to roaches and other insects. Fortunately, they usually don’t harm dogs. Canine systems don’t absorb the chemicals well, so most of the poison gets excreted in the pee and poop.

There is a greater risk that your furbaby will choke on the packaging or suffer an intestinal obstruction. If dogs ingest the plastic or metal wrapper with the bait, it can get stuck in the throat or digestive system. Both of these conditions are life-threatening and require immediate veterinary attention. The time it takes your dog to recover will depend on how the Combat affected his systems.

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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