One increasingly common condition that is being seen in dogs more and more here in the UK is lungworm and it’s certainly something that dog owners would be wise to be on their guard against, as it can be fatal if it goes untreated.
Being vigilant on walks and when you’re out in the countryside, or even just walking your local city streets and in the local park, can be very beneficial, as lungworm is caught when your dog (or cat) eats slugs, snails and frogs. This can result in a parasitic worm travelling through your dog’s blood vessels, affecting their lungs, heart and other parts of the body.
Diagnosis of the condition can be tricky as the symptoms vary from case to case, but common signs include loss of appetite, coughing, difficulty breathing, no interest in exercise, vomiting and weight loss. Minor injuries may also bleed and take longer to heal.
Although dogs are unable to pass the disease on directly dog to dog, they are able to transmit the larvae in their faeces. This, in turn, can lead to more slugs and snails being infected, which are then eaten by dogs, leading to a relatively quick spread of disease.
To prevent lungworm in dogs, ensure that your pet has regular worming treatments at the vets so you can put your mind at ease.
However, there are also actions you can take yourself to reduce their risks, such as changing the water in indoor water bowls regularly, watching what your dog is up to while out and about, and moving any slugs, snails and frogs you find in the garden at home.
In the majority of cases, dogs will recover from lungworm if the disease is caught early enough and treatment is administered in a timely fashion. If it goes untreated, however, it can cause inflammation, internal bleeding and organ failure, which can be fatal – so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
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