Lungworm is caused by the parasite Angiostrongylus Vasorum. It is an emerging disease especially prevalent in South Wales with increasing numbers of dogs being diagnosed. The fox is the natural host however it is passed on to domestic dogs. It cannot be passed from dog to dog and must pass via an intermediate host of a slug or snail.
Mature worms live in the pulmonary artery and lay eggs which pass into the lungs via the bloodstream. Eggs develop into larvae which are coughed up, swallowed and passed out in faeces. They are then taken up by the slug to develop further before being ingested by a dog.
Even if your dog does not eat slugs or snails they can ingest the larvae from picking up a toy or stick from the garden or drinking contaminated water.
Dogs of any age can be affected but most cases appear in younger dogs in spring and autumn.
Symptoms: Symptoms can be very varied often involving the cardiac and respiratory systems. Common symptoms are bleeding, vomiting, coughing, difficulty breathing and weight loss. In some cases it can be life threatening.
Diagnosis: This can be difficult-faecal samples can be taken to look for larvae.
Treatment: We prescribe a veterinary licensed spot-on product for the treatment of lungworm
Prevention: Budget Vets stock the one veterinary prescribed treatment that is licensed for lungworm prevention. The treatment should be applied monthly and will also treat for fleas, roundworms and other internal and external parasites. It does not treat for tapeworm so treatment with a broad spectrum wormer is advised at least every 3 months.
We offer a puppy package for £64.99 which includes – 1st and 2nd vaccine, kennel cough vaccine, microchip, 1 x flea treatment, 1 x wormer. Please contact the branch you would like to visit to make an appointment.