VET’S VIEW: Be careful with slug pellets around pets

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THE weather forecast for the near future predicts more holiday sunshine.

But eventually there will be a return to rainy conditions which will be perfect for slugs and snails, leading to a probable increase in numbers of these creatures visiting our gardens and public spaces.

So it is that important pet owners know about dangers posed to their four legged friends by the use of slug pellets, as they are extremely poisonous and can even kill.

Humid, damp conditions mean we commonly observe a spike in cases of dogs and cats with slug pellet poisoning, as increased use makes it far more likely for your pet to come into contact with the pellets.

Pesticides are, of course, made to be deadly, but, sadly, this means they may affect animals other than their target species, too.

Metaldehyde-based slug pellets are very dangerous to pets – even small amounts of pellets can cause significant poisoning, with severe signs easily developing within an hour of consumption.

If you suspect your pet has eaten some slug pellets, please call your vet immediately. Tiny amounts of metaldehyde ingestion can cause anxiety, twitching, and fitting, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive panting, drooling, unco-ordinated walking, muscle tremors, hyperthermia, even increased sensitivity to light, touch, and/or sounds. So, quick action can help save a pet’s life.

The active ingredient metaldehyde works by primarily affecting the nervous system of both dogs and cats, although it’s more commonly observed in dogs.

Diagnosis of slug pellet poisoning involves a thorough history of your dog or cat’s health, full clinical examination, blood tests, and often the obvious presence of pellets in vomit or diarrhoea. And please, remember to take any relevant packaging to your vet, helping us identify which pesticide we’re dealing with.

For more information, or if you’re worried your pet’s been poisoned, call Grove Lodge Vets on 01903 234866.