Snail Bait Poisoning in Dogs
- Slug Pellet Poisoning in Dogs
In certain areas of the world snail bait is one
of the most common causes of accidental poisonings in dogs.
The toxic active ingredient found in most slug and snail
baits is metaldehyde.
Snail bait or slug bait usually come in pellet form which
your pet can find very attractive because it resembles dog
kibble. The snail pellets are sometimes combined with
molasses, apples and bran which is added to attract the slugs
and snails. Unfortunately this also attracts your dog to them.
Snail bait is also available in liquid and
granule form, however, if you use it in this form dogs may
walk on it and later lick their paws. They may even
eat the dirt containing granules or liquid. It is in your
dog's best interest not to use snail bait around your yard.
Don't make a snail bait meal your dog's last meal.
How much Snail Bait is Dangerous to my dog?
A very small amount of snail bait is fatal for
dogs. Approximately 1 teaspoon per 4.5kg/10lb of bodyweight will
cause death in fifty percent of ingestions.
What are the symptoms of
snail bait poisoning?
Symptoms of snail bait poisoning occur quickly
after ingestion. Initial symptoms may include:
Twitching. This is a common symptom
apprehension and an increased excited mood
fast heart rate
It is critical to get
veterinary attention immediately if you suspect snail bait
poisoning. Your dog could die within four hours of ingestion. Get
to a vet as soon as possible. Every minute counts.
Try to stay calm and before heading off to the
emergency room remember to grab the packet containing the
snail bait so your vet can check the active ingredients.
If your dog has vomited at home it may
also be useful to take the dog's vomit with you to the vet for
Treatment for Snail Bait
Poisoning by your Vet
may induce vomiting and may use a stomach pump. Activated charcoal is often
given to absorb toxic substances.
It reduces absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. If the bait has already reached the
intestine, enemas may be given to wash the poison out. Your vet will monitor your
dog's temperature and he may put him on IV fluids to
flush out the poison. The muscle twitching will usually be
treated with a muscle relaxant such as diazepam. Your vet may
have to anaesthetize your dog until seizures are controlled.
High fever is common and is associated with the muscle
twitching. Once the muscle tremors subside the temperature usually lowers.
Your dog will be hospitalized for monitoring
and supportive care of further symptoms.
There is no antidote for metaldehyde poisoning.
Your vet will give supportive treatment by treating the symptoms.
Prognosis of Snail Bait
Prognosis of metaldehyde poisoning depends
mainly on the amount of snail bait ingested and the time
in getting treatment from your vet. The quicker you get to the
vet the better chance of survival for your dog.
If your dog is not successfully treated death
usually occurs within 4-12 hours. Dogs that initially
survive the poisoning may develop liver disease in 2-3 days.
Recovered dogs may suffer from memory loss, temporary
blindness or diarrhea.
Prevention is better than
cure. Don't take risks
Remember... it's not only where you spread
on the ground, you also have to be careful where you store it.
Dogs like children are notorious for getting into things they
shouldn't. Always store all chemicals in a safe child and pet
Is there a Pet Safe Snail
Speak to the people at your garden centre
regarding pet safe snail killers and repellents. There is a
product called Sluggo, a snail and slug killer which is said
to be non toxic to pets.
You can also purchase various snail traps.
Are there any other alternatives to kill snails?
Another alternative available are predatory
snails called the
Decollate snails attack the
common brown garden snail and the snailís eggs. They will also
eat decaying plant material, which keeps them fed when they
canít find snails but they will always prefer pest snails if
they are present.
Copper barrier tape forms an effective barrier
to protect plants from slugs and snails. The tape is self
adhesive and is wrapped around the rim of plant pots or
containers. Slugs and snails are deterred from crossing this
barrier due to a tiny positive electric charge that is given
off by the tape.
article has not been written by a veterinarian & should not
be considered a replacement for a veterinarian visit. Articles are provided for informative purposes only. While
great care has been made in the creation of this article,
we cannot guarantee the accuracy or omissions on this
page. If in any doubt whatsoever, seek professional medical
advice from your veterinarian.