Are Slugs Poisonous to Dogs?

Are Slugs Poisonous to Dogs?

Your canine seemingly enjoys being exterior within the contemporary air. Operating and enjoying, chasing sticks, digging and taste-testing new finds, and ingesting out of puddles. Generally canines by chance lick or eat a slimy little good friend – slugs! Must you be involved if this occurs to your canine? Are slugs toxic to canines?

Let’s dive deep and discover out if slugs are toxic to canines earlier than they even begin popping up exterior this season.

Dr. Jess explains extra about this slimy slug query beneath:

closeup of slug head and body with white background

What’s a Slug?

The College of Minnesota, the place I went to veterinary college, describes slugs as:

  • Slugs are slimy, soft-bodied animals, described as shell-less snails.
  • They are current from spring to fall, in cool, moist areas with shade. 
  • Slug inhabitants will increase throughout wet season and on well-irrigated gardens.
  • Slugs feed on leaves of many crops (particularly seedlings), ripening vegetables and fruit, and decaying plant matter.
  • They feed at evening and conceal throughout the day.
  • Slugs create irregular holes on leaves and fruit and have an effect on the looks of the plant.
  • Intensive feeding can lead to a weak or dying plant.
  • Baits and pesticides can be utilized to regulate slugs, together with different strategies like setting traps and boundaries.

Slugs are legless and armless slimy little creatures that vary in shade from brown to gray.

They will develop to be up to a couple inches in size, and slowly transfer together with a pair of feelers that appears considerably like antennas.

jack russell terrier sitting next to food bowl

What Do Canine Sometimes Eat?

Some canines are usually not choosy in any respect about what they eat. They’ll eat no matter you provide them- they’re like vacuum cleaners sucking up something you set in entrance of them after which some!

Some canines are on the pickier facet of issues. Pickier pups may be more durable to correctly feed as a result of they simply gained’t eat any meals we give them. Strive feeding a choosy canine one thing like okra!

A standard canine eating regimen for pet canines consists of a whole dry or moist feed and presumably some type of dietary supplements in some particular instances (nevertheless, not all pet canines want dietary supplements).

Foraging may also be included within the eating regimen if the canine is allowed to roam, or the canine is feral, and naturally there are treats which are part of many canine’s diets!

The eating regimen of each canine breed will very when you find yourself wanting right into a wholesome and full eating regimen on your pup. So it is very important know when providing meals to your canine, what constitutes a wholesome selection, and what doesn’t.

An improper eating regimen may put your canine liable to having issues correctly digesting their meals and absorbing vitamins accurately. And we don’t need that now can we???

So let’s discuss particularly about slugs, since that’s why you clicked over right here at present, and speak about the way it may have an effect on your canine’s general well being and well-being.

Why Do Canine Eat Bugs/Bugs?

Purpose #1: Canine are by nature very curious. Generally their curiosity will get the perfect of them.

So when you’ve got a brand new, odd-looking and unfamiliar insect comes crawling into their world, they’re seemingly going to research it.

With some canines, they merely can not stand not having the ability to take a look at out new issues of their life, espcially taste-testing.

So your canine could also be taste-testing bugs and different creepy crawlers to try to determine what this new bug is.

Many occasions, they’ll style them, determine that it doesn’t style superb, and go away the remainder of it alone.

Some canines will proceed to taste-test, and the insect will should be eliminated in order that your canine can not get to it and play or eat extra of it.

Purpose #2: One other a part of a canine’s pure being, is their affinity to scavenge.

Many canines wish to hunt issues down, scavenge, search, and search.

Whether or not it’s their favourite toy, the perfect stick within the forest, or they’re hungry for his or her meals bowl to be crammed at dinnertime and wish a snack within the meantime, some canines have a pure tenacity to seek out issues to play with, to snack on, or to “acquire” for later.

This will simply occur to be an insect for the time being.

overhead view of slug on white background

What Makes Some Bugs Poisonous to Canine?

This can be a arduous query to reply as a result of every insect is totally different.

Some bugs comprise poisonous substances that may make your canine sick in several methods relying on the place the chemical takes impact.

Generally the liver is affected, different occasions it’s the kidneys, and others have an effect on the circulatory system or a large number of different physique programs are affected.

In case you are frightened or involved over a particular bug’s toxicity, contact your native vet instantly.

Are Slugs Toxic to Canine?

No, your frequent slug shouldn’t be toxic to canines. Your typical slug doesn’t comprise any poisonous components.

However simply because a slug shouldn’t be toxic to your canine, doesn’t imply that consuming a slug gained’t give them any hassle, as a result of it will probably.

See extra on this beneath…

Can Slugs Be Dangerous to Canine?

Now that we’ve discovered that slugs are non-toxic for canines to ingest, we have to perceive a number of the dangers concerned in the event that they do occur to seize a style.

It is best to maintain the next components in thoughts:

Dangerous Purpose #1: Lungworms

Slugs may be the intermediate host for a pest generally often called the lungworm.

The frequent species of lungworm in canines, embrace Crenostoma vulpis, Oslerus osleri, and Eucoleus aerophilus, parasitic worms that may trigger lots of hurt to your canine.

Not solely is the slug an intermediate host to this parasite, however the worm’s larvae may also be present in slug slime.

That’s proper, the slime trails {that a} slug leaves behind, may also be a giant hazard to your pup!

So what precisely does this lungworm factor truly do?

What’s a Lungworm?

A lungworm is a worm that infects totally different animals in several places.

For instance, within the canine, Eucoleus dwell within the nasal cavity, or the nostril of the canine.

Grownup Oslerus osleri and Crenostoma vulpis dwell within the respiratory tubing resulting in the lungs, particularly the trachea and bronchi.

Different styles of the lungworm dwell within the lungs of some animals, comparable to Filaroides hirthi.

Lungworms in Canine:

Canine turn into contaminated with lungworm by ingesting the parasite whereas it’s its infective stage, which is totally different for the various kinds of lungworm.

Some lungworms are transferred to canines by consuming contaminated feces, and others by contaminated saliva switch.

As an illustration, the larva of Crenostoma vulpis wants a snail or slug to behave as an intermediate host for them to satisfy their life cycle.

The canine eats the slug contaminated with infective lungworm larva.

The larva then mature and lay new eggs within the respiratory tract tubing (the bronchi) resulting in the lungs the place they irritate the bronchi a lot that makes the canine cough, coughing up the brand new larva.

The brand new coughed up larva is then reswallowed down the digestive system tract of the canine, and excreted out within the canine’s feces.

Then your backyard slug comes by and picks up the lungworm larva from the canine feces within the setting and the method begins over once more.

Different sorts of lungworms infect canines in several cycles – the precise infective cycle is determined by the species of lungworm.

As an illustration, Oslerus osleri generally happens when the mom canine licks and grooms her pups, transmitting the parasite by means of the saliva.

Canine can turn into contaminated with lungworms by consuming slugs or snails, by drink contaminated water or setting or consuming one other animal, like a frog, mouse or chook, that has eaten a slug.

Lungworms in Canine: Indicators and Signs

Indicators of lungworm an infection vary from subclinical infections, the place the canine reveals no outward indicators of lungworm an infection, to loss of life in excessive instances.

Nonetheless, most lungworm instances are someplace in between these two ends of the spectrum.

The severity of an infection depend upon the parasite load (variety of worms current), the species and placement of the parasite within the canine’s physique, and the immune standing of the canine.

Generally, if the canine already has a lowered immune system (ex. younger pup, already sick, has most cancers, and so on.), they’re extra more likely to have a extra extreme lungworm an infection than an in any other case wholesome canine.

Many canine instances of lungworm has indicators starting from coughing, to greater and/or sooner respiratory charges (respiratory charges), to respiratory misery or dyspnea (struggling to breathe).

Elevated sneezing, elevated lethargy, and decreased train tolerance, may also be seen in some lungworm infections.

fawn pug dog wrapped in beg covered looking forlorn

Lungworms in Canine: Prognosis

  • Scientific indicators: Your veterinarian will ask you questions on your canine’s historical past and what indicators you have got noticed. Then, your vet will seemingly do a bodily examination of your pet to try to observe every other discovering that will assist them diagnose what the underlying reason for your canine’s signs are. Your vet will seemingly suggest extra diagnostic testing to assist them determine what’s the root reason for your canine’s points. Bear in mind: lungworm signs comparable to cough and train intolerance are very non-specific, that means that the underlying trigger might be many many various circumstances and never only a lungworm infestation. Often extra testing is important to diagnose lungworms. Among the different take a look at embrace:
  • Bronchoscopy (endoscope): Analyzing the airways with a small endoscope positioned down into the airways can assist your veterinarian to view what’s going on. Endoscopy in sme animals can reveal an infection (white blood cells), larva, or lungworm eggs if a washing is performed. On this process, fluid is launched within the respiratory tract after which eliminated to see if any of the aforementioned objects may be collected and used as proof in instances with respiratory points to assist information testing and remedy choices.
  • Radiographs (x-rays): A set of radiographs analyzing the respiratory tract can assist your veterinarian see what might be happening in your canine’s respiratory tract. It’s nearly like x-ray imaginative and prescient in some instances! Generally vets can see infections within the lungs (“pneumonia”), in addition to nodules and irregular spots, signifying one thing is improper along with your pup’s respiratory tract.
  • Fecal examination: Your veterinarian might take a fecal pattern out of your canine and run assessments to see if there’s proof of lungworms, by observing eggs or larva, relying on the species of lungworm amd their corresponding life cycle stage in canine feces. Don’t be shocked in case your canine’s fecal examination comes again regular and your vet desires to do extra testing to rule out lungworms – generally canines will probably be contaminated with lungworms and their fecal examination is “regular”, that means that no eggs or larva had been noticed on the fecal examination itself.

Lungworm in Canine: Remedy

Remedy ought to be centered on eliminating the parasites themselves and controlling any signs brought on by the physique’s immune response to the parasite.

Lungworms have been proven to be killed with just a few weeks to a couple months of species-specific antiparasitic drugs (ex. Ivermectin, Fenbendazole, and so on.), relying on the species of lungworm, severity of infestation, and severity of signs.

If signs are noticed, your veterinarian might deal with the signs too, on high of the antiparasitic medicine.

If the canine has extreme respiratory points, they might should be hospitalized for oxygen remedy and extra medical assist to assist them get to a extra secure situation.

corgi drinking water out of a puddle

Dangerous Purpose #2: Pesticides

Many backyard crops have pesticide merchandise utilized or sprayed on them to maintain the crops free from pests/bugs.

Some crops even have chemical sprays utilized on them to lower fungal progress, all of which may be utilized to and carried by the slug whether it is within the neighborhood.

You don’t need your canine in touch with these probably dangerous chemical compounds.

Dangerous Purpose #3: Allergic Response to Slugs

Something, synthetic or not, may be trigger for an allergic response or upset abdomen.  Something that your canine places of their mouth and consumes is truthful recreation for an allergic response. 

A canine can develop an intolerance or an allergy to something that they ingest, so there’s all the time the chance that your canine is allergic to slugs or one thing in or on a slug.

In case you suspect your canine is allergic to slugs, do NOT enable your canine to eat them and speak to your native veterinarian instantly.

In case your canine is allergic to any a part of slugs and by chance ingests one, go to your nearest animal emergency room instantly.

The canine’s physique might deal with the ingested slug as a extreme allergen and assault it, utilizing the canine’s personal immune system. 

When this occurs, the assault units off a hypersensitivity response and can lead to any of the next signs:

Frequent signs of adversarial/allergic response to meals:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching/Elevated grooming
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • and so on.
australian shepherd with snarky expression

What If my Canine Eats a Slug?

In case your canine eats a slug, monitor them carefully for adversarial results and indicators and signs talked about above, from adversarial allergic reactions, to coughing and lethargy attributable to lungworms.

In case you are very involved concerning the slug ingestion, contact your native veterinarian instantly.

What if My Canine Ingests Slug Slime Path?

The identical goes for consuming a slug’s slime path!

Monitor your canine carefully such as you would in the event that they consumed the precise slug itself.

Monitor your canine for coughing, respiratory troubles, and so on. and speak to your vet when you’ve got any issues or discover any modifications in your pet


Slugs are non-toxic to canines, that means that the creature itself doesn’t comprise any supplies which are deemed poisonous to canines.

However simply because this slimy creepy crawler is non-toxic, doesn’t imply that in case your canine consumes a slug, that they won’t present any unfavourable bodily indicators.

There’s a listing of indicators and signs that will assist point out that the slug that your canine ate shouldn’t be sitting properly with them.

And as all the time, in case your canine reveals any adversarial indicators after ingesting a slug or slug slime, contact your veterinarian instantly.

veterinarian signature

The data offered on this article shouldn’t be an alternative to skilled veterinary assist. For medical recommendation, contact your veterinarian.

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