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Is "Safe-For-Pet" Snail Bait Really Safe?

I came across this: Iron Phosphate Slug Bait Warning, because we caught our little dog eating Sluggo in the garden. You should read it and decide for yourself. From the post,

Iron phosphate is non-toxic to both humans and dogs, as well as other pets and wildlife. Studies also show that it is equally non-toxic to slugs and snails, because it does not release its load of poisonous elemental iron very easily. If this is the case, why do other studies show that it is a very effective product that rivals the metaldehyde baits? How can these baits made of nothing but iron phosphate and wheat gluten be as effective as they are shown to be when other studies show that snails can live indefinitely on a diet of iron phosphate?

Enter a man-made chemical called EDTA, a chelating agent that causes the iron phosphate to release its elemental iron easily in the digestive systems of not only slugs and snails but of pretty much anything that eats it. EDTA or the similar EDDS are the only reason these baits are effective, yet interestingly the label only reads Active Ingredient: Iron Phosphate - 1%, Inert Ingredients - 99%. No mention is made of the presence of another chemical that can turn harmless iron phosphate into a deadly poison. Apparently EDTA was slipped through the cracks in our regulatory system as an "inert" ingredient, and inert ingredients do not have to be listed on the label. Since iron phosphate is harmless, and EDTA is the ingredient that makes it effective, not to mention dangerous, something is really wrong here.


That let me to this article, Gardners Beware of So-Called Pet-Safe Slug Bait, (click through for links and the rest of the article)

We recently treated two patients at DoveLewis who consumed so-called pet safe slug bait for iron toxicity. Iron levels were found to be within the toxic range for one patient. Both patients survived their ordeal.
Pet owners should be aware that iron phosphate is toxic to animals if they eat it. The Animal Poison Control Center lists these symptoms as signs of iron phosphate toxicity:
• Lethargy and vomiting for the first 30 minutes and up to two hours after ingestion
• Vomit may contain blood due to iron irritation to the gastro-intestinal tract
• Severe dehydration and collapse due to prolonged vomiting.

We will keep an eye on our dog for any of the symptoms. Be careful, it says iron in a dog's blood can build up over time.

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