Snail pel­lets poi­son dogs

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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