Are Leatherleaf Slug Poisonous to Dogs? What Every Pet Owner Should Know

Leatherleaf slugs are a variety of slugs that can potentially cause concern for pet owners, especially those with dogs.

These slugs can be found in various environments, making them a common sight for both animals and humans alike.

Are Leatherleaf Slug Poisonous to Dogs

It’s important to know whether leatherleaf slugs pose any threat to our furry friends. This way, we can ensure their safety and well-being.

While some slugs may be harmful to dogs, leatherleaf slugs are actually not poisonous to dogs.

In general, slugs and snails can potentially carry a parasite called lungworm, which can be harmful to dogs if ingested.

Are Leatherleaf Slug Poisonous to Dogs: Can They Cause Lungworms?

Leatherleaf slugs are not known to be toxic or poisonous to dogs.

However, it’s essential to keep an eye on your pet if they happen to ingest one, as individual dogs may have different reactions. 

Ingesting lungworms through slugs can have an adverse impact on your dog.

Lungworms are parasites that can cause health issues in animals.

The infection occurs when lungworm larvae are present in slugs and then ingested by pets. It’s important to note that not all slugs carry lungworm larvae.

Symptoms of Poisoning

As mentioned earlier, leatherleaf slugs are not known to cause poisoning in dogs.

However, if your dog ingests a toxic substance or a slug carrying lungworm, there are some common symptoms to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Weakness

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog after ingestion of a slug or another potential toxin, it’s important to seek veterinary attention immediately.

In severe cases, ingestion of toxic substances can lead to liver failure and other life-threatening complications.

Source: By Michal Maňas – Own work, CC BY 2.5,

Lungworm Infection

When dogs accidentally eat slugs, they may be exposed to lungworm larvae. Lungworm infection can cause various health issues in dogs, such as:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weight loss

Some severe cases may even lead to anemia, respiratory failure, and death.

It is crucial to consult a veterinarian if you suspect your dog has ingested a slug and is showing these symptoms.

Slug Bait Poisoning

Another concern related to slugs and dogs is the accidental ingestion of slug and snail baits.

These baits often contain a toxic substance called metaldehyde, which can be harmful to dogs. Symptoms of metaldehyde poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling
  • Hyperthermia

Here’s a comparison table outlining the differences between lungworm infection and slug bait poisoning:

 Lungworm InfectionSlug Bait Poisoning
CauseIngestion of slugsIngestion of slug bait containing metaldehyde
SymptomsCoughing, difficulty breathing, weight lossVomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, excessive drooling, hyperthermia
ConsequencesAnemia, respiratory failure, deathHyperthermia, seizures, death

If your dog exhibits signs of either lungworm infection or slug bait poisoning, it’s essential to seek immediate veterinary attention.

Early diagnosis and treatment will significantly improve your pet’s chances of recovery.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect your dog has ingested a leatherleaf slug, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian promptly.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

A veterinarian can accurately diagnose slug poisoning based on the dog’s clinical signs and potential exposure to the slug. 

Sluglike Creature guards clutch of eggs

Types of Treatment

There is no specific antidote for slug poisoning in dogs, but several treatments can help alleviate symptoms and support recovery:

1. Activated Charcoal: An activated charcoal has to be administered by a veterinarian to help bind the toxins in the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. This prevents further absorption of harmful substances.

2. Gastric Lavage: This is a procedure in which the dog’s stomach is flushed with water to remove any remaining slug fragments or toxin residue. The treatment has to be done by a veterinarian under sedation.

3. Fluids: Intravenous fluids can be given to maintain hydration and flush toxins from the dog’s system.

4. Supportive Care: Additional care, such as anti-emetics or pain relief, may be administered depending on the dog’s symptoms and needs.

Different treatment processes

Activated CharcoalEffective in binding toxinsMay cause constipation, needs veterinarian administration
Gastric LavageRemoves slug fragments/toxinsCan be invasive, requires sedation
FluidsHelps maintain hydration/toxin removalNeeds veterinary hospitalization for monitoring
Supportive CareAddresses specific symptoms/dog’s needsVaries depending on the dog’s condition

The prognosis for a dog with slug poisoning largely depends on the severity of symptoms and how quickly treatment is initiated.

Minimizing the time between ingestion and treatment increases the chances of a full recovery.

Prevention and Pet Safety

Slug-proofing your yard goes a long way in securing your pets. Here’s how you can go about it.

  • Remove hiding spots: Clean up debris, rocks, and leaves.
  • Limit food sources: Keep pet food and household waste securely stored.
  • Use barriers: Copper tape, crushed eggshells, or diatomaceous earth can deter slugs.
  • Employ traps: Set up beer or yeast traps to capture slugs.

Here are some additional tips for you:

Source: Laevicaulis alte. (2023, June 1). In Wikipedia.

To help protect your pets from lungworm, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Regularly deworm your pets, as recommended by a veterinarian
  • Prevent access to areas with high slug populations
  • Discourage pets from eating slugs

It’s crucial to maintain a healthy environment for your pets and monitor their behavior to minimize the risk of slug poisoning and lungworm infection.

Leatherleaf slugs are not known to be poisonous. However, in some cases, slug ingestion by pets, like dogs and cats, may lead to lungworm infection.


While leatherleaf slugs aren’t poisonous, slug ingestion can still pose a risk to pets due to lungworm infection.

Make sure not to overlook the possibility of lungworm infection. Being aware of symptoms and seeking immediate veterinary attention if any adverse reactions occur is paramount.

By taking preventative measures such as slug-proofing yards and regularly deworming pets, we can ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved companions.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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