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Lungworm Awareness

What is lungworm?

Lungworm (known as Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a parasitic worm dogs and foxes can carry.

The lungworm parasite lives in the heart and blood vessels of an infected animal where it lays eggs that get carried to the lungs.

If your dog becomes infected, it can cause series problems and can prove fatal.

How is lungworm transmitted?

Slugs and snails carry the lungworm parasite. If your dog ingests a snail or slug, it can become infected; the slime trail can also be enough to infect them. Although the disease cannot be passed from dog to dog, infected dogs still pose a risk. Larvae pass into their faeces which can then come into contact with slugs and snails, spreading the disease more rapidly.

How can I tell if my dog is infected with lungworm?

Signs of lungworm can often be vague but can include:

  • Breathing problems (such as a cough)
  • Poor blood clotting
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in behaviour such as depression
  • General illness such as vomiting or diarrhoea or being off-colour

 

How is a lungworm infection diagnosed?

Diagnosing Lungworm can be difficult, however we offer blood testing for lungworm along with chest x-rays if required.

What do I do if I think my dog may be infected?

If you think your dog is infected please contact the Practices.

Treating lungworm is relatively simple and requires a regular monthly treatment of anti-parasite treatment (wormers.)

Can lungworm be prevented?

Simply, yes!

We recommend monthly worming treatment to protect your dog from lungworm and other parasitic worms and fleas.

Always pick up and dispose of your dog’s poo.

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