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Slug poison alert after Sussex dog killed
1:10pm Monday 3rd September 2012 in News
A biologist has warned pet owners of the dangers of pesticides after his dog was killed by household slug bait.
Candy, a six-year-old West Highland Terrier, died in agony on August 24 after eating just a few tiny blue pellets.
The dog’s owners, Norman Carreck and Andrea Quigley, had been staying at Andrea’s parents’ home in Ferring and had gone out to the theatre, leaving their little pet playing happily in the garden.
But while the couple were out, Andrea’s father Mike was horrified to find Candy convulsing and vomiting on the lawn.
Mr Carreck, 46, from Southwater, said: “Mike took her straight to the vet but she was clearly in terrible pain.
“The vets called us to tell us there was still hope but at 1am they told us there was nothing they could do.
“Our little boy Iain is devastated and so are we. She was happy one minute and dead the next. It was a horrible way to go.”
Mr Carreck, a biologist at the University of Sussex , said Candy was believed to have been poisoned by metaldehyde – the active ingredient in household slug bait.
He said someone or something must have brought the tiny blue pellets into his father-in-law’s garden because he did not use pesticides.
He said: “There were slug trails all around where she had been sick and there was green dye in her faeces.
“I’m not saying Candy was deliberately poisoned but it seems like someone may have thrown these pellets into the garden.”
After his dog’s death, Mr Carreck said householders should be aware of the dangers posed by garden pesticides, many of which are labelled ‘pet-friendly’.
He said: “About two teaspoons is enough to kill a dog of that size – and if it could kill a dog it could kill a child.
“These blue pellets are in use everywhere and I don’t think people know how dangerous they are.”
Hayley Smith, a veterinary nurse at Coastways surgery in Brighton and Hove, said it was common for pets to be poisoned by slug bait.
She said: “People should be very careful about spreading their garden with slug pellets.
“Depending on how much their pet has eaten it can be very serious and often leads to liver failure and death.
“If an owner does realise that their pet has eaten some they shouldn’t wait because if we can get there early it’s possible that we can save the animal.”