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Slug Bait – It’s Dangerous for Pets

Slow-moving, slimy slugs are everywhere this time of year. These shell-less gastropod molluscs can devour your garden, and they can infect pets who eat them with lung worms.

The Dangers of Slug Bait to Pets | AtlanticVetSeattle.com


Be cautious about putting slug bait out, as it is a common source of poisoning in dogs and cats. That’s because slug bait includes brown sugar or molasses to attract slugs. Unfortunately, the sweet stuff also makes the bait irresistible to our furry friends.

In addition to brown sugar or molasses, slug bait (which comes in pellet, liquid, or powder form) typically contains the active ingredient metaldehyde.

Ingestion of even small quantities of metaldehyde can be fatal. Poisoned pets may show symptoms within minutes, and symptoms may develop up to three hours after ingestion.

Symptoms of Metaldehyde Poisoning

If you suspect that your pet has ingested slug bait, call us immediately. Symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Panting
  • Twitching
  • High fever
  • Hypersalivating (drooling)
  • Vomiting
  • Ataxia (lack of coordination)
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors
  • Hyperthermia (high fever)
  • Convulsions

Safer Ways to Get Rid of Slugs

This article outlines four alternative ways to lure slugs and snails:

  • Beer or milk traps
  • Cornmeal traps
  • Humane traps
  • Night hunting

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Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle serves the following neighborhoods: Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Valley, International District, and Georgetown.