Lungworm (dogs only)
Lungworm is a parasite that can cause serious health problems in dogs and can even be fatal if left untreated. As an adult worm, it lives in the heart and blood vessels that supply the lungs.
Dogs catch lungworm through eating slugs and snails which carry the larvae of the parasite and it can even be spread through the slug or snail slime. While most dogs do not routinely eat slugs and snails for pleasure, they may do so by accident e.g. when drinking from a puddle, licking grass or generally just having a sniff around. On the other hand, some dogs do enjoy munching on these garden pests and although not every snail or slug carries the parasite, if your pet regularly eats snails/slugs then there is a risk of them picking up lungworm at some point.
Signs of Lungworm
Signs can be varied, but can include; coughing, tiring easily, weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive bleeding from minor wounds, seizures and even death.
What can I do to protect my dog from lungworm?
Once diagnosed and treated, most dogs can make a full recovery but the key to successful treatment is taking action early. The best way to avoid your pet getting lungworm in the first place is to speak with your vet about preventative solutions. Our vets can prescribe spot-on or tablet treatment. By treating regularly, you can prevent your dog from getting an established lungworm infection.