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Metaldehyde Toxicosis

What is metaldehyde toxicosis?

This poisoning occurs when pets eat snail or slug bait that contains metaldehyde. These products may have names such as Antimilace™, Limax™, Limovet™, or polyacetaldehyde.

What causes metaldehyde toxicosis?

Pets are poisoned when they eat bait that is being stored or that has been applied to the environment. Pets will readily eat baits made from metaldehyde since it is often combined with food products such as soybeans, rice, oats, or apples. Therefore, you should only apply this product in areas where your pet cannot possibly have access.

What are the signs of metaldehyde toxicosis?

The most common signs are convulsions (seizures), continuous shaking, bizarre behavior, and an unsteady gait. Unfortunately, many other diseases can have these same signs. Therefore, it is very important that you provide as much detail as possible about the animal's previous possible exposure, and about the environment. Inform your veterinarian if there are chemicals to which the animal could gain access. Be specific regarding brand names and bring product labels or containers with you to your appointment.

How is metaldehyde toxicosis diagnosed?

The vomit, stomach contents, or blood can be analyzed for metaldehyde. However, since it may take several days before results are available, your veterinarian will have to make a preliminary diagnosis based on the history and signs. First, an intravenous catheter is placed to administer medications and fluids. Medication is given to control the seizures, to help remove the poison from the digestive tract, and to correct changes in the blood that occur because of the poison.

What is the prognosis for animals with metaldehyde toxicosis?

The prognosis depends on the volume of metaldehyde that the animal ate and on the length of time between eating the poison and starting treatment. Take your pet to your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that it ate metaldehyde. Death usually occurs in 4-12 hours if the animal is not successfully treated. In those that survive initially, liver disease can sometimes develop 2-3 days later. Animals that do recover may have diarrhea, memory loss, or temporary blindnes

The majority of the information in this page is has been taken from VetMedCenter.com. For further information about this useful source of informtion follow the link or look, on the internet, at www.vetmedcenter.com.