September 2017: Vet's Advice

August 24 2017

Many pet owners are unsure how often they should treat their dogs for worms with some treating every month and others worming their pet once a year. With the threat of lungworm being highest in the South of England, how often is best in this area of the country?

The dangers of lungworm in dogs

 

Many pet owners are unsure how often they should treat their dogs for worms with some treating every month and others worming their pet once a year. With the threat of lungworm being highest in the South of England, how often is best in this area of the country?

Lungworm (also known as Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a parasite spread to dogs by eating slugs and snails or possibly through their slime trail, dogs can potentially pick up lungworm larvae by eating grass. Slugs and snails can pick up the parasite through foxes, a recent study suggested that around 18.3% of foxes in the UK carry the parasite.

The clinical signs shown by dogs with lungworm can be very variable, some dogs do not show any signs at all however clinically affected dogs can cough, have trouble exercising and sometimes trouble breathing. They can also show bleeding disorders. Lungworm can be diagnosed through a blood test or a poo sample and can be treated if it is picked up early enough. Unfortunately, in severe cases, lungworm can be fatal.

In the South-West of England, prevention is the best option particularly if you know your dog eats slugs and snails. Monthly preventatives are advisable and there are several options available for this. There is a monthly spot on treatment that treats for fleas and prevents lungworm infection. There is also a monthly chew treat which treats for fleas, ticks and gastrointestinal worms as well as preventing lungworm, the chew treat can be preferable for some dogs as they enjoy their treatment and it does not wash off if they like to go swimming or need a bath!

If you would like to know more about protecting your dog from lungworm, give us a call on 0117 9247832.