Snails help shed light on canine lungworm risk

Snails carrying the lungworm Angiostrongylus vasorum pose more of a canine health risk in backyard gardens than owners may think, according to a study from Exeter University in the U.K. Researchers outfitted garden snails with LED lights and fluorescent paint to study their movements and found they can travel up to about 80 feet in a 24-hour time frame and explore areas also explored by dogs. Dogs contract the parasite after ingestion of the snails, which is likely unintentional when they are foraging in areas where snails have sought daytime shelter.

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