Do you have a problem with snails and slugs in your yard or garden? If so, this is a common problem. Many people choose to use snail and slug pellets to get rid of these pests. But what happens if your dog eats snail pellets?
What is Blitzem?
Blitzem is a commonly used poison to get rid of both snails and slugs. It contains metaldehyde, which is a very dangerous neurotoxin. The Blitzem pellets work to attract the snails/slugs. The product is made to attract these pests; after ingestion, the toxin will kill the snails and slugs. Unfortunately, it can also kill dogs (as well as other pets and wildlife) who eat the pellets.
Metaldehyde is very toxic. It only takes one teaspoon per 10 lbs of weight to kill. Dogs will eat almost anything that grabs their attention, including poisons. And it’s not only ingestion that can cause problems. Even contact with skin and eyes can lead to irritation. And if the metaldehyde is inhaled, it’s also very toxic.
Symptoms of Blitzem Poisoning in Dogs
You notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten Blitzem:
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive excitement
- Extreme sensitivity to sound/touch
- Heavy panting
- Lack of coordination
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
If you know or suspect your dog has ingested Blitzem pellets and/or is showing any of these symptoms, then call the vet immediately. This is a life-threatening medical emergency.
Note: it can take up to 2-4 hours before symptoms appear. Do not induce vomiting unless the vet instructs you to do this.
Treatment of Blitzem Toxicity in Dogs
At the vet’s office, they will give your dog a physical exam and run lab work. Then, depending on how long ago your dog ate the pellets, the vet may induce vomiting. This is usually done within 1-2 hours after ingestion.
The vet may also treat your dog with activated charcoal, which works to bind the poison. This keeps it from being absorbed into your dog’s system.
Another option the vet may try is gastric lavage, which works to remove the toxic substance from the dog’s stomach.
The vet may also treat other symptoms as they arise. They may also give your dog an IV to help him rehydrate, as well as for administering medications. Medications that may be used include anti-seizure drugs and more. It just depends on your dog’s symptoms.
With prompt medical care, your dog has a very good chance of making a full recovery.
To prevent this type of emergency in the future, be sure to use some other method to get rid of snails and slugs. There are some that are safer for your dogs (and other fur babies), as well as wildlife.