The common slug pellets contain metaldehyde. (Metaldehyde, the active constituent of slug pellets, is still the cause of a number of deaths in dogs and to a lesser extent cats each year. Unfortunately some of the writing on boxes of slug pellets would seem to suggest that they may be safe for pets. Look at the list of constituents - if it contains metaldehyde then it is poisonous). Some dogs seem to find them quite tasty. The poison causes severe excitement and convulsions in pets and, unfortunately, there is no antidote. However, many cases will respond with veterinary attention as dogs are usually able to clear their own system of slug poison if they can be kept alive long enough for them to do so. The veterinary surgeon may be able to make the dog vomit to reduce the amount of poison in the system and severely affected dogs will be heavily sedated to get their muscles to relax and stop the convulsions.
If you catch your pet in the act of eating slug pellets then quick action can make it bring it back up. Specifically for this type of poisoning you can give your dog a dose of mustard, salty water or washing soda crystals to make it sick. Only induce vomiting if it is less than 1 hour after ingestion.
Dog owners should know how to make their pets vomit. The best substance to use is a tablet-sized crystal of washing soda. Crystals this size can be found in most bags of household washing soda and can be kept in a safe place for emergencies. Your own veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on the use of washing soda. Vomiting will usually start inside a few minutes. You might consider taking washing soda crystals with you if you walk your dog in farmland where poison is laid. Rapid acting poisons such as strychnine can kill dogs before you can get veterinary assistance. In these cases, making the dog vomit quickly can be the difference between life and death. or
Combine one tablespoon of dry mustard with one cup of cold water or
Syrup of ipecac - 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds body weight or
Salt in water or in emergency place up to a tablespoon of salt at the back of the tongue
DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING - regardless of the poison source, if...
The Dog is having trouble breathing
The Dog is unconscious or comatose
The Dog is having seizures
Over 2 hours have passed since ingestion
or if you suspect The Dog has swallowed a sharp object
Take with you some of the vomit expelled by your dog and if possible also one or more of the slug pellets eaten or better still the original packaging.
Keep your dog warm and treat for shock, watch for the onset of fits or unconsciousness be prepared to carry out pet CPR should your dog stop breathing whilst travelling to the Veterinary Surgery, get someone to call the surgery giving details of what the dog has taken to ensure the Veterinarian is waiting for your dog to arrive so treatment can commence immediately on your arrival.