The lungworm Angiostrongylus Vasorum is a parasite affecting dogs. It is carried by slugs and snails and dogs can become infected by eating them, either deliberately (there’s no accounting for taste!) or accidentally when drinking from puddles, playing with toys that have been left outside, or rummaging through the undergrowth. Slugs and snails thrive in warm, damp conditions so Spring can be a high risk time of year for your dog encountering these garden pests.

The adult worm lives in the heart and major blood vessels to the lungs and can cause the dog serious problems including bleeding, coughing or a high temperature.  Infection can often be fatal if not diagnosed and treated promptly.

The difficulty is that many dogs infected with the worm do not show any symptoms until the disease is quite far advanced. By this point treatment is much more difficult and many dogs require hospitalisation and often intensive care. 

It is really important to remember that lungworm is not prevented or treated by the conventional use of worming tablets when given every three months, or even every month. The good news is that lungworm can be treated and prevented with a regular monthly spot on treatment which your vet can prescribe. If you think your dog may be at risk please contact your vet and they can advise you on the best treatment for your dog. 
Remember- with lungworm prevention is much, much better than cure. 

Signs of lungworm infection include:

  • breathing difficulties
  • coughing
  • tiring easily or lethargy
  • excessive bleeding
  • pale membranes
  • vomiting and diarrhoea
  • weight loss and poor appetite
  • seizures and death

For more information or a to book a free of charge check-up to discuss lungworm prevention for your dog please call us on 01494 883443