Dogs are sometimes undisciplined when it comes to eating. Other than sticking to a set meal plan, they can choose to eat random items that they find. Around your garden, there are a host of creatures that have their habitats there. Slugs are such animals.
As your dog goes around the garden, he may intentionally eat a slug. Sometimes, he may eat it accidentally as he tries to reach a different substance. Will the slug pose any danger to the dog? Are there specific effects that warrant close attention? These are some vital points to note, as they will guide you on to the next steps to take. Here is a closer look.
Are Slugs Injurious to Dogs?
Slugs carry a parasite called lungworm. This parasite is also present in the slug’s slime and can affect the dog’s health adversely. How can this happen? Lungworms are in wild animals like foxes or dogs. When they pass out feces, a slug getting into contact with it becomes contaminated.
A cycle comes up as your dog eats the slug. It will pass contaminated poop, which will advance the parasite. If you don’t treat it, this parasite might cause your dog’s death.
What happens if your dog gets lungworms? It can cause your dog to have poor clotting. When this happens, your dog will have more nose bleeding, thus anemia. It may also cause your dog to bleed in the whites of his eye. The risk of having heart and breathing problems is also present.
Signs and Symptoms of Lungworm Infection
It is common to mistake lungworm contagion with other diseases because of the nature of its signs. They resemble other conditions; hence, if not careful, you can miss them. For this reason, if you see symptoms like depression, lethargy, breathing difficulties, or extreme bleeding from trivial wounds, be wary.
You may also observe general signs of sickness like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weight loss. Your dog may show only one of these signs. Whenever this happens, you should not take it for granted.
Helping Your Dog
As aforementioned, if you see the signs discussed above on your dog, you should make a point to visit your vet. Simultaneously, if you suspect your dog has consumed a slug, you should get in touch with a vet.
Since it is challenging to diagnose this infection, the vet might examine your dog’s poop to detect the parasite. He may also test the dog’s blood or conduct a chest x-ray if the lungworms are not visible in the feces.
Treatment for lungworm is accessible if you get a positive diagnosis. If you do this early enough, your dog will recover fully. Prevention of this parasite is also possible and vital. Receiving treatments from your vet every month is preventive.
In some cases, selected dogs are more susceptible to specific infections than others. However, this is not true when it comes to lungworms. All dogs are at risk of being infected. Even so, younger dogs, due to their snooping nature, may be positively affected.
Preventing Your Dog From Eating Slugs
Even if your dog gets monthly treatment against infections, you can still do more as a dog owner. Vigilance is essential. You will need to bring your dog’s plays and water vessels at the close of the day. You will thus prevent the risk of having contaminated slugs in his water. Changing his water regularly after washing his dishes is vital.
If your dog likes going through the garden, you will do well by checking for slugs. You can use nontoxic methods to control the multiplication of these creatures. As a responsible owner, you can purpose to pick your dog’s poop to prevent any contamination routinely.
Finding out the risk in your area is crucial. Some areas are more prone to lung worms than others. If your region fits here, you can exercise more precautions to ensure your dog’s safety.
The dangers that your dog exposes itself to when eating slugs are immense. Since the dog cannot protect himself, you can take measures to do so. If you suspect that this unfortunate incident has happened, you should not hesitate to visit your vet.
With early interventions, you may prevent a fatality. Apart from the ready treatment available, you can take advantage of monthly treatments as a preventive measure.