Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Metaldehyde poisoning

Synonym(s): Slug bait, fire lighters, molluscicide

Contributor(s): Rosalind Dalefield, Myra Forster van-Hijfte

Introduction

  • Molluscicide and ingredient in certain fire lighters.
  • Commercial baits generally contain a carbamate insecticide as well.
  • Signs: similar to organophosphate or carbamate poisoning.
  • Treatment: symptomatic-no specific antidote.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Accidental ingestion of granules containing 5-10% metaldehyde.
  • Some major brands and certain formulations contain a cat and dog repellent.
  • Accidental ingestion occurs when fire lighter cubes are used for camping or lighting outdoor fires.
  • Cases often seen after a wet weekend when snails emerge and gardeners apply snail baits.
  • There is an increasing number of cases of metaldehyde poisoning attributed to its malicious use in baits, particularly meat-based baits.

Pathophysiology

  • Mechanism of action is not fully understood.
  • Hydrolized in stomach to acetaldehyde.
  • Acetaldehyde and metaldehyde can cross blood brain barrier and can affect neurotransmission in brain.
  • LD50 500mg/kg.

Timecourse

  • Signs usually develop 1-3 hours after ingestion.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Puschner B (2001) Metaldehyde. In: Small Animal Toxicology.Eds: M E Peterson and P A Talcott. Philadelphia: W B Saunders. ISBN: 0 7216 7826 2.
  • Osweiler G D (1995) Toxicology. Philadelphia: Williams and Wilkins. ISBN: 0 6830 6664 1.
  • Lorgue G, Lechenet J & Reviere A (1966) Clinical Veterinary Toxicology. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, pp132-133.

Organisation(s)


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