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Snail Bait Poisoning

Ingestion of snail bait can be fatal and it’s important to know what to watch out for and how you can prevent poisoning. Dogs seem to be more prone as they  love to eat things they shouldn’t. Cats can be a bit pickier when it comes to what they eat but are still at risk.

There are three types of snail bait:

1. Metaldehyde – green pellets

2. Methiocarb – blue pellets

These are the most dangerous and they act on the nervous system causing increased stimulation and can be rapidly fatal if immediate veterinary treatment is not given. Some contain a bitterant but these act ONLY as a deterrent and many dogs will still eat these pellets.

3. Iron EDTA (Multiguard) – brown/yellow pellets

These are also marketed as ‘pet-friendly’ but can be particularly dangerous if ingested in large amounts. The iron ingestion may cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea but if enough is eaten, the iron can also cause damage to the liver, spleen, heart, kidneys or brain and even lead to organ failure and death. If your pet ingests this type of slug or snail bait, it’s best to seek veterinary advice. Call us on 6766 3088

The main clinical signs of snail bait poisoning include:

  • Excessive drooling

  • Anxiety and panting

  • Muscle tremors, twitching and restlessness

  • Rapid heart rate and panting

  • Vomiting & diarrhoea

  • Seizures

If your pet has ingested snail bait you should seek veterinary advice immediately. Bring the packaging with you if you can so your veterinarian knows what was ingested.

Rapid veterinary intervention is critical if your pet has ingested snail bait.  Your pet will need to be made to vomit to help remove as much of the contents from the stomach as possible.

In some cases, your pet may require and an anaesthetic so that the gastric contents can be washed out via a stomach flush and an enema given to reduce toxicity as much as possible. Supportive care in the form of intravenous fluids may be needed as well as medications to help with muscle tremors and seizures.

Image by Kamila Wk