Snail, slug, or rat poison, or ingestion of a poisoned snail, slug, or rat. Metaldehyde may also be present in fuels used in small heaters.
Symptoms tend to start showing within 15 minutes to 3 hours of ingestion, as the metaldehyde is metabolized to acetaldehyde. The precise mechanism of toxicity is unknown. Check the ingredient list of the suspected toxin to determine if other toxins are also in the product; some may contain organocarbamate.
Dogs: 45 mg per pound of body weight.
Cats: Suspected to also be 45 mg per pound of body weight.
Anxiety, hyperesthesia, ataxia, muscle tremors, nystagmus especially in cats, dilated pupils, panting, drooling, seizures, hyperthermia, respiratory failure, and death. The pet may survive the early stages of the poisoning and then succumb to complications such as organ failure in the next 3-5 days.
Give milk and induce vomiting. Seek veterinary attention.
General treatment: Milk will continue to be given, vomiting is induced, gastric lavage using milk will be performed, and activated charcoal administered. The milk helps decrease the absorption of the metaldehyde.
Supportive treatment: IV fluids are administered, the animal's temperature is monitored, and observation and treating for seizures is recommended.
Specific treatment: Unavailable.
Fair to guarded.