I have been prompted to write this article after a client just recently lost their rescue Labrador after he got into their garage found the snail bait before ingesting it.

The active ingredient in snail bait which is harmful and can be fatal to dogs and cats is called Metaldehyde. There is no antidote to this poison.

The poison primarily affects their nervous system. As little as 1 teaspoon per 4.5 kilo body weight can be fatal. Dogs suffering Metaldehyde poisoning display the following symptoms:


  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Uncoordinated walk
  • Muscle tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Hyperthermia
  • Increased sensitivity to light, touch, and/or sounds
  • Increased respiration


If you believe your dog has ingested snail bait you must immediately take him or her to the veterinarian who will pump the dog’s stomach. If the dog is not convulsing the vet will also give it activated charcoal to absorb the poison from the gut. A drip will be required in order to re-hydrate the dog.

Recovery depends on the amount of snail bait ingested, the time before medical intervention and of course the age and size of the dog. Dogs may die within the hour of ingestion so it is paramount to get your dog to the local vet sooner than later.


Simple really, don’t use snail bait with animals around.


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