Kennel Club Concern About Slug Pellets

As the summer of 2012 is one of the wettest on record, the Kennel Club has issued a reminder to dog owners about the danger posed to dogs by the use of slug pellets.


Nick Sutton, Kennel Club Health Information Officer and former veterinary toxicologist said: "Around this time of year, we regularly see a spike in cases of dogs and cats with slug pellet poisoning. Since it has been so wet recently, there are likely to be more slugs and snails around, meaning that people are more likely to use slug and snail pellets, which in turn increase the chances of dogs coming into contact with them. The substances used in these pesticides can be toxic to mammals and they can cause severe illness and sometimes even fatalities."

Pesticides are formulated to be toxic and a consequence of this is that they may affect animals other than their target species. Metaldehyde-based slug pellets are very dangerous to pets - even small amounts of pellets can cause significant poisoning, and severe signs can develop within an hour of consumption.

Nick recommends that if a pet is suspected of ingesting slug pellets, owners should seek immediate veterinary attention: "Even small amounts of metaldehyde can cause a sudden onset of effects, such as twitching and fitting and so rapid intervention can save an animal's life. Intensive therapy may be required, involving heavy sedation, control of convulsions and associated life support measures if needed."

"If you do suspect your dog or cat has eaten slug pellets, then try to remember to take the packet it came in along with you to your veterinary practice, so that they know which pesticide they are dealing with. Accidents do happen, but try to minimise this by always reading and following the instructions for any pesticide."