Percy the beagle had squashed his generous frame through a hole in the fence to go on a friendly neighbourhood visit (a.k.a. begging for treats), which wasn’t unusual for him.
However, when his owner, Alex, spotted him at the back door an hour later, she quickly realised something wasn’t right. Percy looked worried and appeared to be experiencing uncontrollable body twitches.
Immediately, Alex phoned her local veterinary team, who advised her to bring the dog in for immediate assessment.
On physical examination by the vet, Percy showed general muscle tremors and wobbliness. He then vomited up wet soil and some bright blue-green pellets. With suggestive physical symptoms and what looked like snail bait in his vomit, Percy was diagnosed with snail bait toxicity, which can potentially be fatal.
Alex consented immediately to the urgent treatment suggested by the vet, involving a general anaesthetic so that the vet could flush Percy’s stomach of any residual snail bait pellets (a procedure known as gastric lavage). The vet would also administer ongoing sedative medications to calm his symptoms and measure quantities of activated charcoal in Percy’s gut to help bind up any remaining toxins.
The procedure flushed snail bait pellets and soil out of Percy’s stomach. Then, the activated charcoal mixture was administered via a tube down into his stomach. When he slowly recovered from his procedure, Percy’s tremors had markedly improved.
With close monitoring in a quiet, calm area of the hospital and ongoing sedative medications, Percy, fortunately, made a full recovery and showed great keenness to eat his next dose of activated charcoal mixed with food.
After the event, Percy’s owner determined that Percy had entered a yard further down the street and happily gobbled up some snail bait in a raised vegetable bed. Alex has now repaired the hole in the fence, so naughty Percy can’t help himself to “danger snacks” at neighbouring houses again!