Vet’s stern warning on snail bait dangers

Vet’s stern warning on snail bait dangers

One of Australia’s top vets offers stern warning for pet owners after snail bait was found in a community garden.

Dr Mags is dedicated to promoting animal health and welfare and has a wealth of knowledge about your furry, scaly and feathery friends.


Our street has a shared garden where animals and children play. Recently, I noticed blue snail pellets (main ingredient metaldehyde) in plant pots. I let my neighbours know but some think it’s OK because it has a “bittering agent” to repel dogs and children. Is it?

Thanks for reaching out to your neighbours and letting them know. Metaldehyde poisoning is commonly seen in dogs and there is no antidote — unfortunately it kills dogs.

Camera IconSmart Daily’s new Vet columnist Dr Magdoline Awad is the chief veterinary officer at Greencross Vets. Credit: News Corp Australia, Toby Zerna

If a dog has eaten pellets, they can drool, vomit, have diarrhoea, pant and have an increased heart rate, which can develop into seizures. If you think your pet has eaten metaldehyde pellets, get them to a vet as soon as possible as signs develop quickly.

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The earlier treatment begins, the better the outcome. Treatment involves limiting further absorption and controlling seizures and muscle twitching.

It is important these types of poisons are kept away from pets and children. Even with a “bittering agent” these pellets are attractive to dogs — every vet has a list of crazy things they have seen pets eat.

If we spread the word and make people aware, we can hopefully save lives.


I saw a funny photo compilation online of cats getting high on catnip and wanted to try it with my cat, Tonker. Is it cruel or actually good for cats?

While these cat photos are common online, we know not all cats respond to catnip (a herb from the mint family).

Camera IconCatnip doesn’t do it for all cats, but for those who do respond, it can be a great training tool. Credit: Supplied

If they do respond, a lot of people confuse their cat’s behaviour with being “high” as some cats roll around, drool, purr, flip over and become hyperactive for up to 15 minutes. The effects are similar to some pheromones which are used widely to reduce stress in cats.

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Catnip can be used as a training tool, to introduce a cat to a new environment or another cat, to promote scratching post use and to help a cat relax and reduce anxiety.

It is relatively safe and cats enjoy it — although if they eat too much of it, they can vomit or have diarrhoea.

Daily entertainment of our cats is very important, they are part of the family and should be mentally engaged.

Catnip, toys and other play can form a part of their daily activities! Every cat is different, and only by trying out new things can you find out what Tonker’s favourite activities are.

Definitely give catnip a go with Tonker — there are many catnip products on the market including in toys which Tonker will enjoy.

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About the author

Mary  Woods

Mary  Woods

Mary Woods is very close to TV programs and series and spend his most of the time on the TV screen and rest on writing blogs from those serials to TheNewsPocket. And make you updated about every single update in this section.

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