Northampton cat and dog owners warned about rise in slug pellet poisonings

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A family-run veterinary group is warning pet owners in Northampton to be vigilant as the number of pets poisoned by slug pellets is set to increase this summer.

Every year, White Cross Vets, which has a practice within the Weston Favell Shopping Centre in Northampton, sees approximately 40 cases across its 14 practices.

Figures from the Vets Poison Information Service, a 24-hour emergency service for vets, reveal that over 1,700 cases of pesticide poisoning were reported in 2014.

Of these, 114 involved Metaldehyde, which is the toxic ingredient in slug pellets.

Nishi Jani, Clinical Director at White Cross Vets says: “The weather has been perfect for slugs recently – with both wet and sunny conditions - and the majority of people reach for the slug pellets as a matter of course at this time of year.

“Most are unfortunately unaware of the devastating consequences that slug pellets can have if their pet dog or cat eats them.”

Metaldehyde is used in most types of slug pellets, and even small amounts of the pellets can cause significant poisoning with severe signs of illness often occurring within an hour of consumption.

Warning signs of poisoning typically include incoordination, muscle spasms, muscle rigidity, twitching, tremors and convulsions.

Pets that have eaten slug pellets need to be seen by a vet urgently as rapid intervention can save their life.