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Lungworm Parasite

Dogs can become infected with this life-threatening parasite if they accidentally eat infected slugs or snails or potentially even their slime trail.

  • Angiostrongylus vasorum (lungworm) resides in the heart and pulmonary arteries and can be fatal to dogs.

  • Foxes, slugs and snails carry lungworm.

  • Slugs and snails can be very small, and can be swallowed accidentally, through drinking from puddles or eating grass.

  • Lungworm has spread in recent years and is now endemic throughout much of the UK, with most cases being reported in the South-East of England and Wales.

  • Symptoms can be varied but can include coughing, tiring easily, bleeding problems, weight loss, seizures and vomiting. A dog may show one or any combination of these or in many cases there are no symptoms at all.

  • If treatment is initiated early enough, dogs can go on to make a full recovery.

  • Lungworm prevention must be given monthly. Less frequent treatment leaves the dog unprotected, risking disease and even death.


Recent studies have shown that lungworm has spread throughout much of the UK, with an increasing number of cases now being reported in areas where it had previously not been found.

Riverside Veterinary Surgery - Independant Veterinary Practice in Grays, Essex
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