Lungworm - The Veterinary Centre, Glasgow

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Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a parasite which can infect dogs and foxes, and its infection can prove fatal. Although this problem was once seen principally in isolated areas in the South of the United Kingdom, cases are now being reported in Northern England and Scotland.

Dogs can become infected by eating slugs and snails which may be carrying the larvae of this parasite. While some dogs will eat slugs and snails on purpose, the hidden danger arises from small slugs and snails which can be accidentally swallowed when dogs are drinking from outdoor water bowls, eating grass, playing with toys left out in the garden, or rummaging through the undergrowth.

To minimise the danger you should keep outdoor toys and water and food bowls clear of slugs and snails.

What are the symptoms?

Infected dogs could display one or more of the following:-

  • Breathing problems or coughing.

  • Tiring more easily.

  • Poor blood clotting leading to excessive bleeding from minor wounds.

  • Nosebleeds.

  • Bleeding into the eyes.

  • Paleness around the eyes and gums.

Your vet can prescribe a specific spot-on treatment if your dog becomes infected. The same treatment can be used on a monthly basis to prevent your dog developing an infection.

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