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Fast moving snails pose a threat to dogs

Posted by: Laura Varley  Date: 28/08/2013   Category: Latest News

Snails are known for being relatively slow moving animals but a new experiment has shown just how fast snails can actually move.

According to sky.com, researchers from Exeter University used LED lights and UV paint to track 450 garden snails movements at night. The time-lapse photography taken shows that snails can travel up to 25 metres in 24 hours, which is the length of an average garden in the UK.

Unfortunately the research showed that snails moving habits aren’t good for dogs, as snails tend to shelter in dog toys and long grass, which can lead to dogs accidentally consuming them. Snails carry a parasite called Angiostrongylus vasorum, a type of lungworm, reports bbc.co.uk. The lungworm can be passed onto dogs who eat slugs and snails they find on their toys or dog ramps, which can potentially end in the dog’s death.

Associate professor of ecology at the University of Exeter, Dr Dave Hodgson, said: “By learning more about the behaviour of snails, we hope dog owners can better understand the ways in which dogs can encounter snails on a day-to-day basis and the lungworm risk they present, taking the appropriate precautions.”

A recent survey of veterinary surgeons showed that lungworm is endemic across the UK, showing snails pose a threat to dogs everywhere.