The number of animals seeking emergency care after ingesting poison from mice baits has become "unprecedented", according to Orange Vet Hospital.
Before mice numbers reached plague proportions across the Central West, veterinarian Dr Georgia Ladmore estimated that the clinic saw several animals a year that had ingested poison from bait.
In recent weeks, the vet hospital has been treating between one and six dogs, cats and even ponies a day.
"It's just gone astronomical," Dr Ladmore said. "We're seeing a lot of dogs eating rats and mice and then getting secondary poisoning.
"The government is trying to kill more and more mice and as a result we're seeing more and more pets that are secondarily poisoned.
"It's really variable, so a very small amount can still have disastrous consequences," she added.
Most of those who bring their animals in aren't even aware they have ingested bait, she added. They're instead brought in after owners notice them going off their food, lethargy and that they have become "quieter than usual".
Other common symptoms include pale gums and difficulty breathing - the latter of which can turn fatal "very quickly".
"If you can't be sure that there's no baits for rats or mice in the area that your dog is in, we're recommending people muzzling them," Dr Ladmore said.
"[It's] not to be cruel but so that they can't put stupid things in their mouth, because I much rather have a dog that's muzzled ... than a dog we're treating for rat bait.
"It's a fact of life at the moment. The government is putting millions and millions of dollars' worth of poison out."
The time it can take for animals to show symptoms of poisoning, as well as the amount of bait they need to ingest to be affected, is "really variable", she added.
Depending on the breed and size of the animal and the type of bait eaten, it can take anywhere between three days and three weeks for them to show signs of poisoning. It's why owners are being urged to be vigilant.
The good news is that 90 per cent of the animals rushed to Orange Vet Hospital have survived, but time is of the essence.
"If we can get them fast enough we can try to do our best with lots of blood transfusions and plasma transfusions ... and plenty of Vitamin K," Dr Ladmore said.
"The longer they're left, the more complicated treatment becomes and the dicier it is."
At Summer Street Vet Clinic, staff had similarly been treating animals who had ingested poison. While numbers had been nowhere near those experienced at Orange Vet Hospital, nurse Amy Suttor said there had "definitely" been an increase.
At one point the clinic had even run out of vitamin K which is used to treat animals that have been poisoned. Fortunately, all the pets suffering from bait poisoning who had got to the Summer Street clinic in time had survived.
"It can be quite scary. We thought we were going to lose a couple, but no, they've all recovered quite well," Ms Suttor said.
"It is highly likely that they can die from it but we haven't had any yet."
Residents who suspect their pet has ingested poison are urged to contact their local vet immediately.
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