WA Veterinary Emergency & Specialty

Snail Bait Toxicity

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The most commonly available snail baits available are metaldehyde (green), methiocarb (blue) and iron EDTA (red).

Metaldehyde and methiocarb cause similar signs in animals after being eaten. Salivation and tremors are frequently noted and may subsequently progress to seizure activity. Treatment required varies according to the amount eaten and the signs that your pet is showing. Early treatment results in a good outcome in the vast majority of cases. Treatment involves decontamination of the gut by inducing vomiting or in severe cases pumping the toxin out of their stomach, binding up the toxins and supportive care which in severe cases may require a period of anaesthesia to control the tremors and seizures. Untreated tremors and seizures can progress to heat stroke and death from complications so if you suspect your pet may have ingested these toxins please immediately contact your regular vet or call WAVES on 94125700 for advice.

Iron EDTA (red) snail pellet toxicity can cause liver failure as animals are unable to remove iron which has been absorbed from the gut and high levels of iron damage the liver and other organs. After having eaten iron EDTA snail pellets, dogs will commonly vomit within minutes to hours. They may also have diarrhoea which may sometimes contain blood. An improvement may then be noted for the next 1-4 days however lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, shock and liver failure subsequently develop which may then progress to death.

Early treatment of iron EDTA ingestion provides the best outcome as the toxicity can be reversed. If treatment is delayed until liver failure develops, the chances of recovery will be much lower.

If you suspect your dog has eaten any snail pellets, call your regular vet or WAVES emergency service on 9412 5700 immediately for advice.