Baits containing PAPP released for wild dog, fox and feral cat management
Known as DOGABAIT, FOXECUTE®, PAPPutty Lethal Paste for Wild Canids®, and Curiosity® feral cat bait, these products containing the chemical para-aminopropiophenone (or ‘PAPP’) are now used within Australia. PAPP works by inducing methaemoglobinemia following ingestion. Veterinarians may be presented with cases of off-target poisoning of domestic pets, so will need to know how to manage these cases.
PAPP is considered to be a humane toxin, and has the potential to replace 1080 use in most situations. It has an additional advantage in that it has an antidote, Methylene Blue. Details about where to access supplies of the antidote, and treatment protocols, are available in the form of a Clinical Fact Sheet that you can download from this site and print out for your hospital.
The information we have received is that if an animal is administered the antidote relatively quickly by IV injection (likely within half to one hour of bait exposure), it can recover. At this stage, the antidote can only be administered by a veterinarian.
Products containing PAPP have been approved for use by the APVMA, and are manufactured and distributed by Animal Control Technologies Australia (ACTA).
What is PAPP and how does it work?
Para-aminopropiophenone (or ‘PAPP’) is the active ingredient used in new toxic baits developed for the broad-scale management of canids. Once ingested, PAPP works by converting normal haemoglobin to methaemoglobin. Clinical signs include lethargy, ataxia, unresponsiveness, unconsciousness and death. Limited studies suggest that animals receiving a sub-lethal dose can fully recover if treated promptly. PAPP baits are scheduled Restricted S7.
Is PAPP safe for domestic and working dogs?
No. PAPP is lethal to wild dogs and foxes and it is also highly toxic to all domestic and working dogs, depending on the dose ingested. The mode of action is fast and symptoms of methaemoglobinemia are diagnostic. The carefully considered PAPP dose in fox baits means that an average-sized working dog will be less affected after eating one fox bait, but treatment should be sought immediately. Due to the higher dose in wild dog baits, if a domestic or working dog eats just one dog bait, it will die within 1-2 hours if there is no treatment with antidote. The use of PAPP baits will require careful consideration of potential risk to pets, working dogs and other non-target animals.
Is there an antidote for PAPP?
Yes. The chemical methylene blue converts methaemoglobin back to haemoglobin and immediately reverses the effects of PAPP poisoning, with recovery usually occurring within 1 hour, based on limited studies. At present, methylene blue can only be purchased and administered by a veterinarian.
Can an animal killed with PAPP be distinguished from one killed by 1080?
Yes. Bright yellow plastic marker beads incorporated into PAPP baits can be found in the vomitus or stomach of affected animals and even in the decayed carcass. Similar red marker beads are incorporated into ACTA manufactured 1080 baits. Animals with PAPP poisoning also display grey-blue gums and tongue, caused by the change in blood colour from red to brown.
Can PAPP harm other animals?
Members of the dog and cat families are highly susceptible to PAPP compared with other species, and this is due to the unique way that they metabolise PAPP. In Australia, cats, foxes, and wild dogs are the animals most susceptible to PAPP. The materials used to make these baits have shown to be less palatable to herbivores. PAPP is known to affect some native non-target animals like goannas and for this reason aerial deployment of FOXECUTE and DOGABAIT has not been approved.