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The Power to Devour - Poisons

This week sees us go to the dark side of nutrition! Bear with us as we unpack some of the poisons that our dogs can be subjected to (purposefully or accidentally).

Even recently there have been cases of animal poisoning on our beloved Central Coast! Here is a recent case. Click HERE to read the article on the Budgewoi case that occurred earlier this month.

So let’s do this….the deadly stuff:


1080 (ten-eighty) is a pest control poison that has been used since 1896 and is quite an effective means of controlling large scale populations by organisations such as the NSW Park Rangers. The Bait itself contains a red pellet and generally comes in a meat or oat based delivery to the animal. The 1080 poison itself is designed to have no taste and no smell. That means that poison delivery is increased. Not good for the pet dog!

Symptoms of 1080 poisoning include howling, sever agitation, running around (zoomies/FRAP) seizures and fits, ultimately death.

If your dog vomits or passes red pellets in their stool…gather the evidence and your dog and go to the Vets with it.

This bait does fall into unsavoury hands, despite tight legislation and processes to eliminate this, and it can get used as pet bait.


This is a new bait that is yet to be deployed in NSW. It will compliment 1080 and will be similarly used and distributed as 1080. It is identifiable by the orange pellets that it contains. Symptoms include lethargy, ataxia (loos of control of movement), unresponsiveness, unconsciousness, grey or blue gums and tongue.

If you notice these symptoms and gather orange pellets from vomit or faeces take your dog to a vet that has the antidote to this poison. Recovery is generally possible if the lethal dose for your sized dog has not been consumed.

Snail poison:

These bright green pellets are readily available and just about every home with a garden has these lying around.

The pellets come in boxes and if a dog grabs a hold of one of these boxes and begins eating the pellets, a large does can be quickly consumed. A dose of 1teaspoon per 4.5kg is accepted as lethal.

They include twitching, unsteady gate, seizures, salivation, vomiting and tremors.

Again, if your dog is expelling green pellets, grab a sample and your dog and off you go to the vets.

Rat Poison:

Rat baits are generally pelletised. Though they come in many packages. Many peri-urban and rural based homes will have some sort of rat poison stowed away somewhere. The same care must be taken for Rat bait as for snail bait.

Symptoms include lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, bleeding into the chest cavity causing collapse of the dog or breathing difficulties. Symptoms generally start to show after 48hours. This means that the source of poisoning can be hard to pin down.

Some of the pellets may be expelled by your dog, again, take all evidence you can and go to your vets.

As you can see, these are 2 commercial poisons that we see in abundance and 2 household pest control substances that most homes will have. Given that your dog has symptoms we can also see that the visible symptoms could mean that sometime within the last couple of days our dog has ingested some nasty chemicals!

To make matters worse…some people actually lace baits with poisons in public areas and even throw them over the fence for a quick meal for our pets! In the next weeks we will look at this in more detail – stay tuned!

Given the recent events on our beautiful Central Coast in the last month we can see how important it is to be educated about these things, regardless of how distasteful it may seem to be!

Stick with us for next week’s installment on Baits and Treats!

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