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Lungworm can be fatal for dogs

Monday, 1st August 2011

Dog meds may well be required if a pooch contracts lungworm, a parasite that likes to live in a dog's heart.

Marc Abraham, TV vet and author, explained that lungworm can cause a number of serious health problems and can end up being fatal if it is not treated early enough.

He revealed how dogs get infected with the disease in the first place, saying: "The lungworm parasite is carried by slugs and snails.

"So, problems arise when dogs purposefully or accidentally eat these common garden guests or ingest their sticky trails when rummaging through undergrowth, swallow grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or playing with their toys."

Dr Abraham noted that lungworm can be spread as the parasite's larvae is expelled in the pooch's faeces.

Symptoms of lungworm include breathing problems such as coughing and poor blood clotting.

Other signs include general sickness, such as vomiting and diarrhoea, and behaviour changes, including tiredness, depression and seizures.