Pictured: Metaldehyde

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally severe

Common signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Liver failure
  • Death

Metaldehyde, a common active ingredient in slug and snail poison, is readily available in multiple forms: pellets, liquids, pelleted baits, wettable powders, and granules. The use of slug and snail poison is common in coastal, warm, subtropical or low-lying areas where snails or slugs are prevalent (Northwest USA, United Kingdom, etc.). When snail or slug bait is accidentally ingested by dogs, it can result in severe, rapid clinical signs, including agitation, tremors, seizures, and secondary, severe hyperthermia (up to temperatures of 108ºF/42.2ºC). Secondary organ failure can result without immediate treatment. Without treatment, metaldehyde poisoning in dogs can be deadly.

If you think your dog ate metaldehyde, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.

Poison type: insecticides

Alternate names: Snail bait, slug bait, snail poison, slug poison, acetaldehyde