Some dogs have a penchant for eating things that we find gross. They may eat or nibble on everything from garbage scraps to pantyhose. And some dogs have been known to eat or swallow snails and/or snail shells. A little escargot, anyone?
Will My Dog Get Sick from Eating a Snail or Snail Shell?
We did some research and found that snails can carry parasites that make dogs sick. The most common parasites include Roundworms, Angiostrongylus vasorum (also known as the French heartworm) and Crenosoma vulpis. Each of these parasites can cause health issues in dogs.
One of the main illnesses caused by eating snails is called lungworm infestation. Lungworms are parasites that can cause respiratory problems in dogs such as bronchitis or even difficult breathing. The snails that cause lungworm are most often found in the UK and Europe. Lungworms are not as common in the U.S.
Even if your fur baby only swallows the snail shell, this could still pose a health issue. The main problem is the shell could become lodged in a dog’s digestive tract, which can lead to an intestinal blockage. This is a health emergency, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
In addition, snail slime can even cause health problems for your fur baby. And if the snail is near snail and slug bait, the bait pellets contain metaldehyde, which is related to strychnine and is toxic to dogs.
Symptoms of Snail-Related Health Issues in Dogs
Watch for these symptoms in your dog if he’s eaten snails or you suspect he has:
- Persistent cough
- Exercise Intolerance
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
- Neurological issues
In addition, if your fur baby has swallowed a snail shell, then watch for these symptoms:
- Swollen, painful abdomen
- Lack of appetite
These symptoms may indicate your dog has an intestinal blockage. You’ll need to call the vet immediately, as this can be a life-threatening emergency. Early treatment is key to saving your dog’s life.
Your dog could exhibit many of these symptoms if he’s eaten a snail and its shell at the same time.
Early treatment is key—if you believe your canine companion has swallowed a snail and/or a snail shell, then call the vet right away. The vet may ask to see your dog as soon as possible. Treatment will depend on your dog’s symptoms.
If your fur baby receives fast treatment, chances are he will be OK and go on to enjoy a long, happy life with you!
KimKim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.
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