Snail mucus life-threatening for pets

Photo credit: Studio040

It may not be common knowledge among pet owners, but snails can be life-threatening to dogs and cats. Even a lick of the mucus can be fatal.

The mucus of the snail can contain two dangerous parasites: the lungworm and the French heartworm. When a dog or cat eats a snail or even comes into contact with the slimy trail, there is a risk of becoming ill. If one of the parasites enters the body of a four-legged friend, it reproduces. The worm larvae can then penetrate from the intestine into the blood vessels and even end up in the lungs. This can cause severe shortness of breath, coughing and breathing problems.

“These dogs or cats then defecate the parasite again, and the parasite spreads even further,” explains veterinarian Ian van Alphen of the Animal Hospital in Eindhoven. In practice, he sees pets affected by the parasite more often and expects that number to increase in the near future.


The fact that there are so many snails is because it is wetter than normal around this time. This, combined with the ignorance among dog and cat owners, poses a considerable risk. “I didn’t know that snails are dangerous for dogs. I’ve never heard of that,” says a woman walking her dog. Not everyone is as concerned as she is. Another hiker shrugs. “My dog ​​won’t eat off the floor,” he says.

But it doesn’t even have to get that far. According to doctor Van Alphen, just licking a mucus trail can be dangerous. And that happens faster than you think: a ball that has been left in the garden overnight could easily be contaminated. Van Alphen: “Because if a dog takes something into its mouth that a snail has just crawled over, it can become ill.”


The first symptoms in dogs and cats are coughing and shortness of breath. The vet recommends deworming the pets in time. He also advises checking the garden for snails and calling in reinforcements from other animals if something goes wrong. “But your garden, for example, is safe for hedgehogs. They eat a lot of snails at night.”


Source: Studio040

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

Your advertisement here.
Previous article‘Eindhoven: a HipHop story’ in Van Abbemuseum
Next articleThree new players arrive at Kemphanen

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here