Lungworm

snailThe larvae of the lungworm parasite are carried by slugs and snails. The problem arises when dogs purposefully or accidentally eat these common garden pests when rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or pick them up from their toys. Foxes can become infected with lungworm, and have been implicated in the spread of the parasite across the country. Frogs can also carry the larvae, presenting a risk to dogs.

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 your veterinary surgeon immediately. Improved detection methods including blood test and faecal samples mean more and more cases are being confirmed.

The signs of lungworm

  • Breathing problems
  • Tiring easily
  • Poor blood clotting
  • General sickness
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Diagnosis
  • One simple method, not using a faecal sample, is to take a blood sample and carry out a fast lab test in house.

Diagnosis

One simple method, not using a faecal sample, is to take a blood sample and carry out a fast lab test in house.

Treatment

If your dog is diagnosed with lungworm, treatment is available from your vet and is easy to administer. Once diagnosed and treated, at least two treatments being needed, 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 your veterinary surgeon without delay.