Lungworm: The things you need to know...

Lungworm: The things you need to know…

You may have seen that cases of Lungworm have been reported in your local area. Hearing things like this can be worrying for dog owners so we’ve spoken to our vet team to get the key facts you need to know, the signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for and what to do if you have concerns about your dog’s health.

What is Lungworm?

Lungworm is a type of parasitic worm that can cause fatal infections in dogs. It’s a particularly nasty one as adult worms live in the major vessels of the lungs which results in multiple problems. The good news is, you can prevent your dog getting poorly with simple measures, but if your dog does get Lungworm it is treatable if found early enough. Therefore, it’s super important to know what to look for and how to prevent it.

Can I prevent my dog from getting Lungworm?

Yes, regular worming regimes are the best defence. It's a common misconception that all worming medications treat every type of worm, but that’s not the case so you’ll need to discuss the right programme with your vet.

That said, always take steps to limit the chances of your pooch becoming poorly. Lungworm can’t be passed from dog to dog which is good news – but as slugs and snails carry the parasite, stop your dog playing or eating them. This is especially key if you’ve got a greedy or inquisitive pooch as they like to explore! Also, be on the lookout for places that slugs and snails can leave a slime trail or hide in like grass, outdoor water bowls or toys.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Prevention is key as Lungworm sometimes has no clinical signs or masquerades itself as other health problems. Keep an eye out for anything out of the norm. Symptoms to be extra vigilant for are;

  1. Coughing
  2. Blood in your dog’s urine
  3. Vomiting blood, nosebleeds or a lot of bleeding from wounds
  4. Severe reddening around your dog’s eyes
  5. Lethargy, depression or tiring easily

What should I do?

There is no harm in chatting with your veterinary practice to make sure you’re doing everything that you can to protect your dog. As always, the minute you spot anything out of the ordinary – even if it’s just a sudden change in their behaviour – it’s best to give the vet a call to get them checked.