Snail bait, due to its toxic component called metaldehyde, is a common cause of dog poisoning. It’s commonly seen during Spring and Summer when snail numbers are high and gardeners are trying to control their numbers. They are designed to attract and then kill snails and slugs, problem is they also attract our furry friends who as we know are often not very discerning eaters!
The metaldehyde primarily affects the nervous system, and signs can develop within as little as 30 minutes of ingestion. Some of the signs might be:
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle tremors
- Incoordination and difficulty walking
There is no specific antidote – if you know or even suspect your dog may have eaten snail bait you need to take them to the Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY so that your Vet can minimise the absorption of the toxin and can initiate treatment.
Prevention is key – if you have pets, simply don’t use it.
There are other more natural alternatives to try. Now I’m no gardener, but here are a few:
- Copper deterrents- place copper around the rim of plant pots or containers to deter slugs and snails by being a barrier and also by giving a slight electric shock.
- Commercial or home made snail traps
- Beer traps! Yep, another use for beer- snails and slugs are attracted to beer and will go to it, if deep enough they can’t get out.
- Hand picking and stomping- yuck- but effective!