What is Slug Bait Poisoning?
Slug bait poisoning of dogs in Western Washington is quite common. This product is placed in gardens and flower beds when the snails and slugs are active. The active ingredient is metaldehyde and it is listed when present in various slug and snail killing products. However, be aware that the disclosure on some of the packaging can be very small or vague. One manufacturer’s packaging states in small print that their product may be harmful to animals. Well, there is no maybe about it! Metaldehyde is deadly and if enough of it is consumed it is fatal. The dogs brought to the Affordable Animal Emergency Clinic typically present with tremors (shaking) that are getting more pronounced with time and ataxia (uncoordinated gait). Often the pet owner’s aren’t aware that their pet has been poisoned and the attending Veterinarian has to be alert to this possibility and ask the right questions (i.e. Do you have slug bait on your property?) A quick diagnosis of metaldehyde toxicosis is critically important. Any delay in the diagnosis and treatment of the patient can be fatal. Metaldehyde poisoning if left untreated, it progresses to continuous seizures, hyperthermia and death. Awareness of this common poison is paramount for its prevention.
Prevent Your Pet From Slug Bait
If your pet displays the above signs or has recently consumed a metaldyhyde containing product please take action immediately. Treatments are available and if done early enough is successful.