What is Lungworm? Pet Talk with Corinium Vets

What is all this hype about Lungworm?
Lung worm, Angistrongylus vasorum, is a parasite that can cause serious health problems in dogs, and can even be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.

Dogs of all breeds and ages can become infected, but it seems younger dogs are more susceptible to picking up the parasite.  Dogs who are known to eat slugs and snails are also considered at high risk.

Dogs can become infected by accidently swallowing infected slugs and snails even the small ones off their toys or drinking from puddles, eating grass.  Lungworm larvae can also be found in the slime trail left behind by slugs so another route of exposure to infection. 

Signs of Lungworm 

Breathing problems, coughing/tiring easily

Poor Blood Clotting,
excessive bleeding/nose bleeds/bleeding into the eye/anaemia

Behaviour Changes,

General Sickness,
weight loss/poor appetite/vomiting/diarrhoea

Your dog could show one or more of these symptoms if infected with lungworm, but some dogs may not show any signs in the early stages of infection. 

The signs for Lungworm infection can be easily confused with other illnesses, but if you notice any of these symptoms or if you think your dog might be at risk then it is important to talk to your vet.  Early diagnosis and treatment will give your dog the best chance of complete recovery.

Preventative products available and with regular use prevention is easy to achieve. These drugs can only been obtained with a veterinary prescription.  Always check with your vet as not all worming products are effective against lungworm.

Here at Corinium Veterinary Surgery we can offer free flea and worming consultations to discuss lungworm preventative treatments and prescribe appropriate drugs for your dog. Why don’t you phone the surgery to make an appointment soon?

Bettina Gruninger (Veterinary Surgeon) and Alison Cuss (Veterinary Nurse), Corinium Veterinary Surgery, Cirencester

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