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    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeApr 28th, 2010 11:07am (Apr 28th 2010) edited
    Having just seen the TV advert that says your dogs can get lungworm from slugs and snails - but actually failed to tell you anything useful like what to do about it - I thought I would have a look on tinternet.


    1) Can dogs/cats get lungworm from eating grass that slugs have crawled over ??

    There are many different types of lungworm, including the type that more commonly affect cattle and sheep. This is the type that is found on/in grass. The cat lungworm and the dog lungworm are different varients of the parasite and have different hosts - the dog lungworm is found in slugs, snails and possibly frogs and/or fox poo. The cat varient is hosted by birds/rodents. I believe the cat/dog must ingest the actual host (ie snail, etc) to become infected...i'm not 100% positive that it can't be transmitted through the mucus left by the snail/slug on the grass but I suspect it's not secreted like that? Maybe you are thinking of the cattle/sheep variant that IS spread through eating grass?

    2) I read somewhere that mice can carry what causes lungworm, has anyone else heard of that ??

    Yes, the cat variant can be spread this way.

    3) Is it best to treat my dog now, as a precaution ??

    Yes, and you must use a fenbendazole wormer such as Panacur, Milbemax and Drontal.

    Then I got to thinking, chickens eat slugs and snails so would they get lungworm too? This is what I found out...

    Worms in chickens are of two general types

    1. Gut worms These live in the chicken's digestive system and cause the hen not to thrive in many ways. They can be picked up by your hen from other hens or from wild birds. Transmission is via faeces.

    2. Lung Worm or Gape Worm These live in the chicken's respiratory system and can be very quickly fatal by suffocation. They can be picked up by your hens eating slugs, snails and earth worms when free ranging, and from the faeces of infected birds. Birds infected with these can be seen gaping and have respiratory distress symptoms.

    Frequency of worming Most vets will recommend treating your chickens for worms every 4-6 months, but this is a decision for the individual to make.

    The risk to chickens of contracting worms is very variable. A small worm burden is natural for all birds and will usually not cause a problem. If you just have a few hens in a run or in your garden the risk is quite small and wild birds is normally the only way they will get them, you may choose to worm these hens less frequently. If the land you have your birds on has been used for hens for a long time the risks are higher. The greatest risk is to large flocks of free range birds, you may choose to worm these more frequently.

    Worming Products:
    There are a number of products available for use in treatment including: Flubenvet, Panacur , Verm-X and Diatom and some other unlicensed products which some chicken keepers use.

    Flubenvet Intermediate is the most commonly used. It is a white powder containing 2.5% w/w flubendazole and sold in 240g tubs and now requires a mixing licence for it's purchase. There is a 1% formulation that anyone can purchase and is intended for small flocks. Flubenvet is a broad spectrum anthelmintic (acting to expel or destroy parasitic worms) and is for oral administration. It is active against mature and immature stages of worms in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract. Flubendazole has no adverse effect on egg laying and hatchability and there is no need to withdraw eggs from consumption. There is zero withdrawal on chicken eggs and poultry can be slaughtered for consumption 7 days after the end of treatment.

    Dosage and Administration of Flubenvet:
    There are a number of different methods of administering flubenvet. The correct dose rate for the 2.5% formulation is 1.2g Flubenvet Intermediate (about ~¼ teaspoon full) mixed into one kilo of feed and the chickens should be fed on this for 7 consecutive days. Large birds will eat more feed, smaller ones will eat less and so they get the correct dose for their body weight. It is a good idea to restrict treats to a very small amount in the afternoon while your hens are being wormed to ensure that they eat sufficient wormer.

    Another method, if you only have a few birds, is to dose each bird individually each day for 7 days. It is not possible to weigh out the correct dose on domestic scales so use a "pinch" (about 0.1- 0.2g) of flubenvet per bird per day for 7 days, Hide this in a treat such as a grape which the hens gobble up without hesitating or add it to some porridgy food, mashed potato or whatever your girls like to eat.

    Hope this helps because as we all know, chickens don't come with an operating manual (and who of us would read it anyway!!)
    • CommentTimeApr 28th, 2010 12:14pm (Apr 28th 2010)

    Keeper of the hens

    Ah, yes, gape worm. We thought Penny had that when she was panting at night, but we worm the chickens often so it can't be that.

    We use Flubenvet, it has always worked very well. The only major downside is working out the doses for small numbers of hens, which my dad has always struggled with.

    Didn't know all that about cats and dogs, I like how they can get lungworm through everything they enjoy!!!