Snails Spread Parasite Among Dogs in the UK

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The number of snails in the United Kingdom has risen by 50 percent over the past year due to damp summers that are ideal breeding grounds for the animals, according to the Royal Horticultural Society. One concern related to the proliferation of snails and slugs is that they are spreading a lungworm parasite among dogs that accidentally eat them from the garden or on their dog toys.

The number of snails in the United Kingdom has risen by 50 percent over the past year due to damp summers that are ideal breeding grounds for the gastropods, according to the Royal Horticultural Society.

One concern is the rapidly spreading snails and slugs are hosts to a lungworm parasite that can be fatal to dogs if they ingest them when found in the garden or on their toys.

A study by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom looked at the movement of snails and found they are capable of moving up to 82 feet over 24 hours.

Researchers attached LED lights to snails in order to track their movement.

Doctor Dave Hodgson, who led the study, said that the parasites in dogs are “becoming a real problem not just in the south of England......and we all have to pay attention to the interactions between dogs and snails.”

Researchers suggest checking your garden for snails and slugs to reduce their interaction with dogs.

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