This rodenticide is a cardiac glycoside derived from the plant Urginea maritima. It is of limited current use. Because rats are incapable of vomiting, red squill is more toxic to that species. It is unpalatable to domestic animals but, when eaten, usually induces vomiting in dogs and cats. Large quantities are required for toxicity in farm animals. It is considered relatively safe, but dogs, cats, and pigs have been poisoned. Signs are vomiting, ataxia, and hyperesthesia followed by paralysis, depression, or convulsions. Bradycardia and cardiac arrhythmias may end in cardiac arrest. The clinical course seldom is longer than 24–36 hr.
Treatment consists of supportive therapy and evacuation of the GI tract using gastric lavage and saline cathartics. Atropine sulfate SC at 6- to 8-hr intervals may prevent cardiac arrest. Phenytoin at 35 mg/kg, tid, should be given to dogs to suppress arrhythmias.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Frederick W. Oehme, DVM, PhD