Metaldehyde

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Metaldehyde is a rodenticide toxin used to control snails and slugs.

This poison primarily induces parasympathomimetic symptoms including ptyalism, muscle tremors, vomiting and diarrhea, which can be confused with organophosphate toxicity.

Diagnosis is usually based on history of exposure and clinical symptoms. Laboratory examination of vomitus is usually definitive.

Treatment usually involves induction of emesis with apomorphine and in severe cases, intravenous fluid therapy with lactated Ringer's solution and induction of general anesthesia with thiopentone and maintenance on halothane, allowing for gastric lavage and administration of activated charcoal.

Muscle tremors and hyperesthesia in mildly affected dogs can be controlled with diazepam.

The prognosis depends on severeity of clinical signs and their duration, but mildly affected dogs usually recover within 24 hours.

References