Lungworm is a type of parasitic worm that affects dogs. In the majority of cases the condition develops when a dog ingests or licks a slug or snail; both of which are intermediate hosts of the disease.
The most effective way to prevent your pet from developing lungworm is to ensure that they don’t drink from public water bowls and ponds, or any other damp and cool environment that may attract snails and slugs. You should also keep your pet’s toys indoors overnight, to prevent them from becoming soggy and moist.
If your pet eats a lungworm larva, the parasite will migrate to their lungs and respiratory tracts where it can inflame the tissue. In serious cases, this can lead to life threatening conditions such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Sometimes the parasite can also cause sudden onset clotting disorders that could lead to potentially fatal internal bleeding.
Although the rate of infection with lungworm in the North-West of England isn’t particularly high, it can vary greatly in different parts of the country. It is therefore extremely important that if your pet is not at risk. If you believe that they could have developed the condition however, we can help.
At Luc Van Dijck Veterinary Centre we are able to conduct an in-house blood test called Angio-Detect. This moderately priced, revolutionary test allows us to take a simple blood sample from your four legged friend. We can then inform you of your pet’s results up to 30 minutes later.
If your dog is coughing, wheezing, losing weight rapidly, bringing up mucus, has any unexplained bleeding or is generally out of sorts, you should bring them to see one of our veterinary professionals immediately. The risk of developing lungworm is luckily still quite low, but it’s always better to take a preventative approach towards your pet’s health.
If you would like more information about lungworm, or to book an appointment for your pet to be seen by one of our experts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us by calling our practice on 01942 242464, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.