The Kennel Club has issued a reminder to dog owners about the
danger posed to dogs by the use of slug pellets.
With the Met Office's weather forecast for the next month
indicating outbreaks of rain, the conditions are likely to be
perfect for slugs and snails, leading to a probable increase in the
number of them in British gardens and public spaces.
Nick Sutton, Kennel Club Health Information Officer and former
veterinary toxicologist said: "As conditions become more suitable
for slugs and snails, we regularly see a spike in cases of dogs and
cats with slug pellet poisoning. With wet weather
unfortunately common during the British summer, 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 animals and can cause severe
illness and in the worst cases, even fatalities."
Pesticides are purposely 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.
If a dog, or any other pet, is suspected of ingesting slug
pellets, owners should seek veterinary attention immediately.
Nick adds: "Even tiny amounts of metaldehyde can cause a sudden
onset of effects, such as twitching and fitting, so quick action on
the owner's part can save an animal's life."
It is recommended that if a pet has eaten slug pellets, owners try
to remember to take the packet they came in to the veterinary
practice with them so the vet can identify which pesticide they are