Dog owners are being urged to be aware of the symptoms of lungworm so they can act quickly to treat this potentially fatal illness in dogs.
Dogs of all ages and breeds can be susceptible to lungworm, but it is often young dogs that are diagnosed with the condition, which is often spread through infected snails and slugs.
Inquisitive dogs have no shortage of potential encounters with infected slugs and snails carrying angiostrongylus vasorum, so it is important that owners are aware of the telltale signs that their animal may have become infected.
As an adult worm, lungworm lives in the heart and blood vessels that supply the lungs in dogs and, depending upon where it is present in the dog’s body, the animal may demonstrate slightly different symptoms.
Dog infected with lungworm may:
- Show changes in behaviour, such as depression and lethargy
- Have problems breathing and may cough
- Begin to vomit, have a lack of appetite or suffer sudden weight loss
- Have a blood clotting issue
Lungworm is considered to be an “emerging” disease, which means that it is spreading from the south of England to other parts of the country. But with families and pets becoming much more mobile it is important that all dogs owners are aware of the disease.
Cases of lungworm can now be identified at Honeybourne with a quick 15 minute blood test, but prevention is better than cure for lungworm and cost-effective treatment is available on a monthly basis. Telephone the practice on 01242 522429 and have a chat with one of the vets.