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Lungworm in Dogs

Lungworm is an infection of the lower respiratory tract, usually resulting in bronchitis or pneumonia, which can be caused by any of several parasitic nematodes, including Angiostrongylus vasorum and Oslerus osleri in dogs.

The lungworm parasite is carried by slugs and snails, which are known as intermediate hosts. A dog may purposefully or accidentally eat these common garden pests when rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or pick them up from their toys. The slugs and snails that serve as an intermediate host to the lungworm are commonly found around water sources such as ponds and streams. The parasite cannot be passed to humans or to other pets in the house.

Foxes can also become infected with the lungworm parasite, and have been implicated in the spread of the parasite across the country.

Lungworms can also re-infect dogs by shedding eggs through the faeces of their host thus contaminating the environment. This means that dogs are at further risk from shared bedding, kennels and food bowls.

Any breed or age of dog is susceptible to lungworm infection but puppies seem to be more prone, possibly due to their inquisitive nature causing them to come into contact with infected environments.

The main symptom of a lungworm infection is coughing; other symptoms include loss of appetite, depression, tiring easily, diarrhoea and vomiting. Misdiagnosis is common.

If you think your dog has a lungworm infection, do not hesitate in contacting a veterinary professional as your dog will require a prescription medication.

Before administering any product, please ensure you always read the pack information and any additional leaflet provided. If in doubt, consult a veterinary professional before using the product.

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