A vet at Wombourne & Gornal Veterinary Centres has been helping raise the public’s awareness of Lungworm, following a recent case that was very nearly fatal for a family’s much loved pet dog, Bear.
BBC’s regional news programme, Midlands Today, interviewed vet Kal Kyuranov MRCVS to help highlight how nasty lungworm is but how simple it is to protect your pets from it.
When Kal examined Bear, it was clear that he was very poorly and his stomach was full of fluid and blood. He needed an emergency operation to drain it. During the emergency operation, Kal realised that Bear had a very serious lungworm infestation.
Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a parasitic worm that can be carried by dogs and foxes. Despite its name, the lungworm parasite resides in the heart and blood vessels of an infected animal where it lays eggs that get carried to the lungs. If a dog becomes infected, it can make them very ill and, quite often, proves to be fatal.
It was touch and go for Bear, but the Wombourne team worked, with his owners, to fight the lungworm and nurse Bear back to health.
“I am very grateful that Bear survived and that I have been able to help raise awareness of Lungworm risks in our area I will continue to promote the prevention of this horrible disease.”
The lungworm larvae are carried by infected slugs, snails and even frogs, and dogs become infected by eating one of these common garden creatures or by drinking from puddles that slugs and snails have left their trails in.
It's not possible to make sure your dog never eats a slug or a snail because they often eat the without you seeing them but, there are lungworm preventatives to protect your dog that are available from your vet.
There are ways you can reduce your dog’s exposure to lungworm:
- Stop your dog eating slugs/snails where you can
- Don’t leave toys in the garden overnight
- Regularly clean water bowls kept outside
- Pick up your dog’s poo