Launceston Animal Medical Centre warn dog owners about dangers of snail bait

WARNING: Veterinarian David Allen cautions dog owners about the risk of snail bait, and to watch out for things like snakes and ticks in the warmer months. Dr Allen is pictured examining dog Callie. Picture: Neil Richardson.
WARNING: Veterinarian David Allen cautions dog owners about the risk of snail bait, and to watch out for things like snakes and ticks in the warmer months. Dr Allen is pictured examining dog Callie. Picture: Neil Richardson.

A Launceston veterinary clinic has sent out a warning about the dangers that snail bait can pose to our furry friends.

Animal Medical Centre on Charles Street treated three dogs for snail bait poisoning over the long weekend.

Veterinarian Dr David Allen said pet owners need to be cautious. 

“Snail bait is a pretty big thing in the spring. Gardeners are putting out bait to stop slugs and snails from eating their veggies.

“These people sometimes have dogs, or, as was the case on the weekend, people bring their dog to their friends’ place,” Dr Allen said.

“Two of the three dog owners who came through this weekend thought that it wasn’t a problem. They had known the dog had eaten snail bait, but it was only a very small amount so they thought it was going to be okay,” he said.

“Within an hour or two [after eating snail bait] dogs become hyper anxious, very agitated, and there might be frothing from the mouth. It progresses into not being able to stand, rigid legs, and thrashing around – things go rapidly downhill from there,” Dr Allen said.

“If you see your dog eating snail bait, come straight to the vet because we’re able to give medication to make them throw it up, which might be all you need to do.

“If it’s been longer than 20 to 30 minutes, the snail bait that went into the dog’s stomach is moving out of the stomach, and this is when it becomes a real problem.

“What we have to do then is anaesthetise the dog. Then we pump the stomach, and we try and flush everything out as quickly as we can,” Dr Allen said.

The take-home message is that if your dog has eaten snail bait, get to the vet straight away

Dr David Allen, Veterinarian at Animal Medical Centre.

Coming into the warmer months, there are a few other things to watch out for, Dr Allen said.

“There are a few things in Tasmania that we need to look out for. The biggest one is snakes, especially if you live out near bushland... We see snakebites all the time.

“Tick paralysis is another thing you can get in the bush, which isn’t as urgent, but still may need vet attention.

“Then things like bee stings are very common, but are rarely life threatening,” Dr Allen said.

“We just see more work in summertime because everyone is out with their dogs,” he said.

“The take-home message is that if your dog has eaten snail bait, get to the vet straight away,” Dr Allen said.

See also:

Animal Medical centre issue warning about snail bait poisoning

Snake warning issued by Launceston veterinarian

Chewing over pet dangers