Lungworm – is your dog at risk?

Lungworm
lungworm
lungworm

This life-threatening lungworm “Angiostrongylus Vasorum” is carried by slugs and snails. If your dog comes into contact with an infected slug/snail or even picks up an object a slug/snail has touched or potentially even just sniffs the ground where an infected slug/snail has been, they are then at risk of becoming infected with this potentially fatal condition.

Foxes can also become infected and play a role in the spread of infection.

This life-threatening lungworm “Angiostrongylus Vasorum” is carried by slugs and snails. If your dog comes into contact with an infected slug/snail or even picks up an object a slug/snail has touched or potentially even just sniffs the ground where an infected slug/snail has been, they are then at risk of becoming infected with this potentially fatal condition.

Foxes can also become infected and play a role in the spread of infection.

Lungworm is a life-threatening disease and with cases being more widely reported it is a problem that appears to be on the increase, with the lungworm becoming more widespread in the UK – the reason of this is unknown but couls possibly be due to climate change.

There are two main problems caused by dogs becoming infected with lungworm.

Infected with lungworm can cause serious health problems in dogs, and is often fatal if not diagnosed and treated.

Dogs infected with lungworm spread the arasite into the enviroment, as larvae of the parasite are expelled in the dog’s faeces. This increases the chances of other dogs becoming infected.

lungworm
lungworm

What are the signs of Lungworm?

Dogs of all ages and breeds can become infected with lungworm. However, younger dogs seem to be more prone to picking up the parasite. Dogs known to eat slugs and snails should be concidered high risk. Lungworm infections can result in a number of different signs which may easily be confused with other illnesses. If your dog is displaying any of the signs below, consult us immediately.

Breathing problems

  • Coughing or tiring easily
  • Poor blood clotting
  • Excessive bleeding from even minor wounds/cuts
  • Nose bleed, bleeding into the eye, anaemia (paleness around the eyes and gums)
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Depression
  • Tiring easily
  • Seizures (fits)

There are some dogs which don’t initially show outward signs of lungworm infection. We can perform tests which may help detect if your dog is infected with the lungworm parasite, if you are concerned.

 

Prevention and Treatment

It is important to recognise that lungwormis not prevented or treated by the conventional use of worming tablets when given every three months, or even every month.

Thankfully, treatment of lungworm infection in dogs is widely available and easy to administer. Once diagnosed and treated, most dogs make a full recovery. The key to successful treatment is taking action early.

If you are concerned your dog has picked up, or is at risk from, picking up a lungworm infection, speak to us without delay.

 

lungworm
Prevention and Treatment of Angiostrongylus Vasorum

We can prescribe Advocate a specific spot-on solution to treat this parasite, which is applied to the back of the neck.

Applied monthly this product can also prevent the establishment of infection with Angiostrongylus vasorum. Speak to us for further advice or go to www.itsajungle.co.uk/

 

What else can I do?

We can recommend a parasite control programme that takes into account the risk of your dog becoming infected with lungworm.

If your dog eats slugs or snails, but is not showing any symptoms, arrange a check up with us as a precaution.

If your dog has lungworm we may recommend regular check ups to allow early detection if your dog becomes re-infected.

In line with preventing worm infestation in your pets and family (Angiostrongylus vasorum does not infect humans), keep your garden and surrounding areas as free as possible from dog mess.