Lungworm is quickly spreading across the UK with several universities compiling studies on the matter. Lungworm is a dangerous parasite that can cause serious harm to dogs and can even be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.
The parasite is present in the bodies of slugs and snails. Consequently, dogs can become infected if they ingest a snail or slug. Recent studies by the University of Bristol have also confirmed that lungworm can even be transmitted to dogs that lick the slime trail of a slug or snail.
Lungworms are never actually seen due to the fact that they live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of infected animals. The parasites’ larvae are then excreted in the host’s faeces where they are picked up by slugs and snails. Lungworm infection is spreading dramatically across the UK with up to 50% of foxes having been reported as infected*.
Lungworm symptoms include coughing, vomiting, excessive bleeding from small wounds and seizures. You may also notice behavioural changes in your dog, including depression, tiredness and loss of appetite. If you are at all worried about your dog and think they could have lungworm, then you need to contact your local vet immediately.
If a lungworm infected dog is treated by a vet early enough, then they are likely to make a full recovery. However, if not treated, this infection could result in death. If you have any concerns at all then make sure you contact your vet.
The Telegraph Online (Study by University of Bristol) – Britain's dog population in danger from killer parasite spread by foxes http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/pets-health/11872830/Britains-dog-population-in-danger-from-killer-parasite-spread-by-foxes.html
Posted October 14, 2015 in Pet Care Advice