Lung Worm

 

You may have noticed a number of reports in the press recently about the potentially life threatening parasiteAngiostrongylus vasorum. Unlike intestinal worms, once inside the dog’s system, this parasite travels through the body eventually ending up in the heart. If the infection is left untreated, the dog’s health can rapidly deteriorate, often resulting in death.

 

 

 

The parasite is carried by slugs and snails, and the problem arises when dogs purposefully or accidentally eat these common

 

garden visitors when they are rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass or drinking from outdoor water bowls.

 

 

 

The latest research conducted by the Royal Veterinary College suggests that the parasite is spreading beyond the areas that it has

 

previously been seen in the UK, and cases have now been confirmed in northern England and Scotland.

 

 

 

It is thought that the spread of this parasite is due to a number of factors such as:

 

  • The increase in fox numbers over the last 40 years (foxes are carriers of this parasite)
  • Warmer, wetter winters see slugs and snails living longer and sometimes not dying off at all
  • The increased movement of dogs in and out of areas of infection

 

 

 

This worm is not treated through the conventional use of worming tablets. However, treatment

 

and prevention for lungworm, as well as more commonly found parasites such as fleas and intestinal

 

worms, is available in the form of a prescription spot-on which is available following a clinical

 

assessment at our practice.

 

 

 

Lungworm infection – what to look out for.

 

Any dog can potentially become infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum if they happen to eat a slug

 

or snail carrying the larvae of the parasite. Symptoms are many and varied but can include breathing

 

difficulties, ranging from a lack of energy to coughing. Dogs may also show general signs of being unwell

 

including weight loss, reduced appetite and vomiting. Persistent bleeding, even from minor cuts is also

 

a sign to watch out for. However, the symptoms can be varied so if you are concerned about your

 

dog’s health, you should seek veterinary advice immediately.

 

 

 

If you would like further advice on this parasite, as well as information on how to protect your pet

 

and family from the risks posed by fleas, worms, mites and lice, please give us a call to make

 

an appointment.

  

 

 

Symptoms Checklist

Breathing problems

Coughing

Tiring easily

Poor blood clotting

Excessive bleeding

Nose bleeds

Bleeding into the eye

Anaemia

General sickness

Weight loss

Poor appetite

Vomiting

Diarrhoea

Changes in behaviour

Depression

Tiring easily

Seizures (fits)

 

Andersons Veterinary Practice

125 Bromley Common

Bromley

Kent

BR2 9RJ

 

0208 4607222 (24hrs)

 

Fax

0872 331 3271

 

Email

bromleyvets@googlemail.com

 

 

Free Client Parking 

 

OPENING HOURS

Monday- Friday

8.30am- 7.00pm

Consultation by Appointment

 

Saturday

8.30am-12pm

Consultation by Appointment

 

Sunday service available

at our Orpington branch

9am-12.30p.m

Make an appointment with us today, call us on

0208 460 7222

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