Be lungworm aware


18 July 2012


The recent wet weather could mean bigger problems for your dogs than more baths! The UK's slug and snail population is said to have trebled this summer, meaning that cases of lungworm have been on the increase. The PDSA has seen a dramatic increase in the disease, which is carried by infected slugs and snails, and is warning owners to ensure their dogs are protected. Senior veterinary surgeon at the PDSA, Sean Wensley, said: "This killer disease is on the rise because of the wet and humid conditions, which has seen an epidemic of slugs and snails. It is important that owners are aware as lungworm can be fatal." Lungworm can be contracted if a dog consumes an infected slug or snail, or by eating poo from infected dogs or foxes. If not spotted in time it can lead to long-term heart and respiratory problems, and can fatal. Symptoms include:

  • Coughing.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Weight loss.
  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Fits.

You can protect your dog by ensuring that his flea and worming treatments are up to date as many of these can protect against lungworm, pick up your dog's poo (you should do this anyway!), and try to discourage him from eating other dogs' poo. Remember that if you decide to use slug pellets in your garden that these are toxic to dogs - so ensure they are well out of your dog's reach!

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