Lungworm danger for dogs

Lungworm lifecycle diagramWith the recent mild and wet weather, slugs and snails are out in force. This puts dogs at high risk of getting lungworm.

Lungworm is a parasite which develops in the lungs and heart of a dog, causing many different signs such as:

  • coughing
  • bleeding
  • lethargy
  • neurological signs (e.g. stroke, paralysis)
  • death

Black and white dog eating grassIt can be picked up by dogs eating slugs and snails directly, eating items contaminated with slime (e.g. grass), or even holding things contaminated with slime in their mouths (e.g. toys which have been left outside).  Lungworm cases have been found throughout the UK so all dogs are potentially at risk.

To prevent lungworm causing disease, monthly treatment is needed.  The only treatments available to prevent lungworm are prescription-only, so must be prescribed by a vet.  None of the parasite control products available from pet shops or supermarkets are suitable.

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