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Slugs and snails can be harmful to dogs if eaten and can be fatal if the dog is not treated in time.
Why are they dangerous?
Some slugs and snails carry lungworm larvae and a dog can become infected if the larvae are consumed.
Larvae can be present in the slime that slugs and snails leave behind, so it’s not advisable to leave toys or bowls outside for them to crawl over. A dog can also be infected by drinking water from puddles or eating grass where the slime is present, they can also be infected from frogs!
Not all slugs and snails carry the larvae, it is a lot more common in the South of England, but, it must be noted that there are cases popping up in other parts of the country.
What are the symptoms of Lungworm?
Symptoms of Lungworm are vague and can be confused with other illnesses, here’s what to look out for:
- Coughing and problems with breathing
- Losing interest in going for a walk
- Abnormal bleeding and blood clotting
- Diarrhoea or vomiting
What to do if you think your dog has Lungworm
If in any doubt, it’s advisable to take your dog to the vet to get tested. There is a simple blood test for lungworm, your vet will be able to do this and fully examine your pet, then give treatment if necessary.
Treatment is usually a wormer which should eliminate the worms. If needed the vet will provide any other treatment that might be necessary if your dog is showing signs that the condition is more serious.
How To Prevent Lungworm
Here are some tips to help you lessen the chance of your dog becoming infected with Lungworm:
Regularly worm your dog – There is a wormer effective at treating lungworm as well as roundworms and tapeworms called Panacur which is available to purchase without a prescription. Panacur is available in a liquid suspension, paste or granules that can be mixed into food.
Keep your dog away from slugs and snails – When out walking or in your garden, if you see slugs and snails, make sure your dog doesn’t play with them.
Keep toys and feeding bowls indoors – Don’t leave toys or bowls outside where they can be crawled over by slugs and snails. If they have been left outside overnight, give them a good wash.