Dangers posed by snail and slug bait

Dangers posed by snail and slug bait

Now that gardening has begun in earnest, some folks want to cut down on snails and slugs. But if you’re a pet parent, be careful how you do it.

Many snail and slug bait products contain metaldehyde [met-AL-duh-hīd], which can be fatal to pets. To make matters worse, molasses or brown sugar is often added to entice target critters, but many pets like it, too. And just so you know, metaldehyde is also a component of solid fuel for camping stoves.

In the body, metaldehyde is converted to a chemical that poisons the nervous system, leading to muscle tremors, incoordination and seizures, Signs are apparent within minutes to a few hours. Eventually, the internal organs shut down.

The earlier animals are treated, the better their prognosis. So, if you think your pet has been exposed, don’t wait to see the signs. Get veterinary help right away.

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