PDSA vets are warning owners about the dangers of slug pellets after a family dog, Milo, was left fighting for his life when he ate over 100 of the toxic pellets.

Alexandra Banu, a Vet at PDSA Southampton, said, “Slug pellets can be fatal in a matter of hours, as they are highly toxic. On Milo’s arrival we were unsure if he would survive, but everyone involved in his care was determined to do everything they could to give him the best chance.”

Owner Zoe Earl had been clearing out her garage and left the slug pellets in a garden pot, but didn’t notice five-year-old Milo had eaten them. Later, Milo began to vomit and Zoe realised he had swallowed the pellets. At this point he began to shake uncontrollably, as the poison entered his blood stream.

Acting fast, Zoe took Milo into Vets Now out-of-hours practice to seek urgent veterinary care.

“They did everything they possibly could. He started twitching really badly so they first sedated him to try and stop him going into a full seizure. This wasn’t enough, and he also needed a special drip into his vein to stop the seizures and keep him safe throughout the night,” said Zoe.

Incredibly, Milo survived the night, and the next morning he was transferred to Southampton PDSA Pet Hospital for continued care.

“An intensive level of care was given to Milo from both veterinary teams at PDSA and Vets Now,” continued Alexandra. “But after more than 24 hours with no signs of improvement, things weren’t looking good. If there was no improvement by the next morning, the family would have to make the terrible decision to put him to sleep.”

Zoe, her son Dillon and her daughter Briony were heartbroken, but knew that if he didn’t start responding soon, it would be kindest to let Milo go.

The next morning, the family visited Milo at PDSA expecting to say their goodbyes. But instead they were greeted by a smiling vet who reported their had made some great improvements overnight. Milo was finally showing signs of pulling through, and was on track to make a miracle recovery.

Zoe said, “We went in to see him and I don’t know who was more pleased — him to see us, or us to see him! He was still pretty drowsy but we were able to take him home later in the afternoon and I just felt a huge sense of relief. By the next morning, he was pretty much back to normal.”

Slug pellets are incredibly dangerous for dogs: even very small amounts can be fatal. Zoe says she feels extremely guilty about Milo’s near-death experience.

“I went off to the rubbish tip and forgot about the pellets. I didn’t think Milo would touch them, but at some point that afternoon Milo found the pot and ate every single one.”

Two weeks later, a recovered Milo and Zoe visited PDSA again for his booster vaccinations, and the vets and staff were delighted to see him on his feet again. The family have recently celebrated five years with Milo, and Zoe said, “It’s due to the care and fantastic work of PDSA, and all the vets and nurses who helped treat him that he’s here today. Milo was lucky to survive something as serious as this.”

PDSA Vets are warning any green-fingered pet owners to try and use pet-safe products in their gardens. If slug pellets must be used they should be kept well out of paws reach, with access to any treated areas blockrd. If you suspect that your pet might have eaten something they shouldn’t, visit your vet immediately. Click here to find out more potential dangers hidden around the home and garden.

Images by PDSA 

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