Trojan snails

By Connie Orcutt • Published: May 1st, 2015
Category: Animal Airwaves

A rare parasite recently identified in South Florida just goes to show how dangers to our pets can lurk in the strangest of places.

The rat lungworm is a type of nematode that can cause deadly disease in people, dogs, horses and birds. Researchers from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine recently uncovered the parasite in three species of snails invading the Miami area.

The discovery was made after an orangutan developed neurological symptoms and eventually died. Analysis of his snail snacks revealed they were infected with the notorious parasite.

The rat lungworm is hazardous when eaten. And since snails tend to cluster around plants, the disease can be spread via shipments of greenery to other locales.

Examine all ornamental plants and thoroughly wash fresh produce so you can stop these Trojan snails from sneaking parasites into your home.