Snail pellets poison dogs
A Waikato vet is pleading for dog owners to be careful with snail bait, because four dogs were poisoned during the weekend.
Sarah Fuller from the Waikato After Hours Veterinary Hospital said the warmer weather had people reaching for the snail pellets, and four dogs were brought in after eating the poison.
‘‘One was dead within three hours of eating it and one just about died,’’ she said.
‘‘Another dog ate a one-kilogram packet of snail bait and sadly its owner waited eight hours before bringing their dog in, despite it having seizures all that time. It will be lucky to survive.’’
The dogs found the taste ‘‘yummy’’, she said.
‘‘Of the four, one dog got into the garden shed, which was left open, and two waited until their owners had finished spreading the pellets and left the box on the back steps.’’
Putting the snail bait high up on a shelf was not enough to keep your pooch safe, she said.
‘‘Dogs like jack russells can jump quite high, and I’ve seen one jump on top of a fridge in a shed and on to a shelf to get at the snail pellets.’’ Gardeners should instead use salt, or a dog-friendly snail bait called Quash, she said.
‘‘And if you have to use snail bait, then fence off your garden.
‘‘To have a dog poisoned by this stuff is extremely distressing for dog owners and of course the dog.
‘‘Once ingested the dog will start to tremor and convulse. And sadly there is no cure for it, all you can do it monitor symptoms.’’ A joint trial project to tackle the widespread pest fish koi carp in the Waikato River is about to get under way at Lake Waikare’s fish pass.
Koi carp are one of the causes of reduced water quality in the river – they stir up sediment and nutrients as they feed (although they also incorporate some of these nutrients into their flesh as they grow).
Lake Waikare in North Waikato is one of the major breeding sites for carp and large numbers of fish frequently enter the lake through a specially constructed fish pass.
Now, under the ‘‘Carp-N Neutral’’ project, a special fish trap and a fish ‘‘digester’’ for turning fish into fertiliser for growing native plants are due to be installed. Trapped carp will be killed and then fed into the digester which will turn them into a nutrient-rich potting mix.
The co-location of an on-site fish trap and specially built digester is believed to be a world first. Co-location helps reduce haulage costs and eliminates the risk of the trapped pest fish being spread accidentally during transport to a disposal site.
The project involves funding from Waikato Regional Council, the Waikato River Authority, and Genesis Energy in partnership with Waikato-Tainui and the Waahi Whaanui Trust.
KILLER: People using pellets to kill these little pests are inadvertently putting their dogs at risk.