Are slugs poisonous to dogs? Are there other infections your dog can get from our wild neighbours? How can you keep your dog safe?
These are all questions that run through your mind when you are a dog owners.
As much as we all love to see native (and some not so native wild birds) in our gardens and parks, sometimes they can bring more than we bargain for. Wildlife can be a source of a wide range of parasites and diseases we should take steps to avoid in our pets and also for ourselves and children.
Regular preventive medications and vaccinations will help to prevent our pets from picking up diseases from their wild neighbours. Remember, people are also able to pick some of these up so strict hand hygiene after pet play or gardening is always advised!
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Are slugs poisonous to dogs?
Alugs and their slime trails can carry lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) which can travel throughout your pet’s body before developing in the lungs. Coughing, seizures and blood clotting problems can all develop and occasionally are so severe your vet cannot treat them successfully. Regular anti-worming medication can prevent them from developing.
Preventing exposure to slugs and slime is a help, do not leave toys or food bowls outside and sterilise fully in bleach or Milton if you notice trails on them; reducing slugs is helpful also but don’t forget the dangers of slug pellets to your own pet. Foxes can carry mange (scabies), fleas and roundworms all of which can be left in the environment for your dog to pick up.
Where did my dog get ticks from?
Ticks (and potentially Lyme disease) can be brought by most mammals and love long grass, hedgerows, and overgrown areas. Toxoplasma can be found in any cat toilet areas (loose soil in particular) and is of particular risk to pregnant women.
Infections From Rats
Rats are the most common rodent in urban areas and are the biggest source of leptospirosis (Weils disease). This is a very resilient bacteria which survives in the environment in urine and still water so you or your dog does not ever need to meet the carrier to be at risk. Severe kidney, liver and lung damage is common and can be fatal.
Regular, yearly vaccination is recommended to provide protection, also cover cuts and wounds and avoid splashes of dirty water. Stray dogs and foxes can potentially carry a number of viruses such as parvovirus and distemper, regular vaccination is important to prevent these diseases in your pet.
Ringworm, a common fungal infection causing scaly, bald patches, and itchy rashes in people can be left behind in your garden, for your pets to pick up later, by most mammals including stray cats, foxes, and hedgehogs.
All dogs should get to enjoy the outdoors, especially when the weather is good. Just make sure your dog is safe and free from any infections.