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Getting it off their Chest

Dog blogger Rikki discusses why you should be regularly worming your dog against Lungworm.

My taste buds are probably not the most refined and if I shared with you my top five favourite foods you’d probably pull a face. But hey, I’m a dog and often snaffle whatever is in front of me!

Slugs….mmmmmmm (yummy!)…and apparently deadly to dogs.

For those who don’t know, us pooches must stay away from slugs and snails. It turns out that they carry Lungworm (Angiostrongylus Vasorum for you Latin lovers out there). Once a dog is infected, it can cause a host of serious problems – potentially fatal.

So, let’s say I eat a slug (this gets grim, but stay with me). Once eaten the lungworm larvae will be released into my gut. From there the larvae burrow through my gut wall and make their way towards the heart, where they develop into adult worms and reproduce. Lungworm eggs are carried in the bloodstream to the lungs, where they hatch into new larvae that burrow through my lung tissue (eek!). The larvae will then be coughed up, swallowed by me and then pass out in my poo, ready to infect more slugs and snails to continue the cycle.

I don’t even have to eat a slug or snail to pick up lungworm – contact with just the slime trail of a slug or snail is enough to cause infection. So owners need to be careful of leaving food, water or toys out in the garden.

So, how can you tell if your dog is infected?

Diagnosing lungworm can be difficult because symptoms vary but they can include:

  • coughing
  • breathing problems
  • reluctance to exercise
  • changes in behaviour – including depression, lethargy or seizures
  • if a dog gets a minor injury, like a small cut, it might bleed for longer

If you're concerned your dog has picked up lungworm or is displaying signs of the disease, then give Lowesmoor Vets a call pronto. Although it can prove fatal if untreated, the good news is that, if caught in time treatment is available and most dogs make a full recovery - like all diseases, the key to successful treatment is taking action early.

But why wait to see symptoms when you can protect your dog from lungworm?

Every month I take a worming tablet which covers me for lungworm – yes, it’s a simple as that! Spot-on monthly worming treatment is also available for those dogs that aren’t a fan of taking tablets, but as I pretty much eat anything, a tablet wrapped in some ham is never a hardship for me.

There are so many flea, tick and worm treatments out there and it can get confusing, so do what I did and book yourself a free parasite assessment risk at Lowesmoor. That way I got the best products for my lifestyle and know exactly when I need to take them to stay healthy.

Mom says she just needs a tablet which will stop me from wanting to roll in fox poop...