Common pesticide a poisonous threat to pets

July 9, 2013

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It might be good for the garden, but veterinarians have issued a grave warning about the dangers of a common household pesticide, which is killing cats and dogs.

Dr Mark Lawrie, of the Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital.

With more wet weather on the way, experts warn pet owners to think twice before laying poisonous snail baits.

"People tend to use these products more in winter, as snails emerge after rain. As a result, we see more cases of life-threatening snail bait toxicity at this time of year," said Dr Mark Lawrie, from the Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital.

"Symptoms can appear in as little as 15 minutes, so urgent action is crucial. It really is a matter of life and death."

In Australia, snail pellets are usually blue or green, with powdered varieties also available. While some may have a bitter taste added to them in the manufacturing process, this isn’t always enough to deter pets, or children, from eating them.

"Some of the signs to look out for include muscle twitching, loss of coordination, increased heart rate and seizures," Dr Lawrie said.

"If you are going to use snail baits or other dangerous pesticides around the home, make sure the entire household knows about it."

Dr Lawrie suggests putting a note on the fridge and keeping the empty packaging in a safe place, so that you will know what you have used.

"That way if an emergency does occur, the person who takes your beloved pet to the hospital will be armed with the right information," he said.

"This can help the veterinarian choose the best possible treatment, and increase your pet’s chance of recovery."

Media contact: Candice Barnes
Tel: (08) 9360 2474  |  Mobile: 0408 201 309  |  Email:
Categories: General, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
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