Do I need to treat for lungworm?

Author: VioVet
Published: Sunday 20th January 2013

Our customer asked:-
The problem I have is my vet insists that Pippa - my Border Collie - also needs to be treated routinely for 'lungworm' & that a vet has to prescribe it. Is this correct?

Our answer:-
This is partly true, so vets can use this as a convenient excuse to stop you buying wormer from cheaper places.

Lung worm is a new problem in the UK. It is still rare, but probably increasing. Occasionally it causes serious ill-health, possibly death. To get lung worm, your dog has to eat a slug or snail which has eaten some lung worm eggs passed by a dog or fox. There is no other way to get lung worm, it cannot be picked up directly from other dogs. Therefore it is regarded as a problem more of puppies, which are more likely to eat snails etc.

If lung worm is reported in your area, and especially if you have a young dog which eats all sorts of odd things, then you should cover for lung worm. Some people feel this does not apply to their situation.

You can ask your vet for a prescription for a lung worm treatment (usually "Advocate") and send us the prescription. We will sell it for much less than most vets. If your vet wants to charge a prescription fee for a worm dose, you can talk to him about how reasonable you feel that is, though obviously you should not be falling out with each other!