Lungworm – The Hidden Killer

What Is Lungworm?

Lungworm is a potentially lethal parasite that can spread rapidly in the area and can infect dogs and cats. Lungworm is becoming more prevalent in London and Kent than anywhere else in the country and we are seeing unprecedented numbers of lungworm cases this year. There are many campaigns that try to raise awareness of lungworm, so you may have seen the popular advert on TV.

Lungworm Can Cause:

It is important to note, that even vets in a consult cannot easily diagnose Lungworm, as the symptoms are hard to spot and in some early stage cases, there are no symptoms at all. Thus, preventative medication is the most efficient way to ensure a Lungworm free pet! Nevertheless, here are the most usual healthcare problems that Lungworm can cause:

  • Coughing, Pneumonia
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting, Diarrhea
  • Blood clotting problems
  • Coma
  • And even death

How Lungworm Infects My Dog?

Dogs can become infected by lungworm by ingesting the larvae, or immature forms of the parasite. These larvae are most commonly spread by slugs, snails, frogs, and foxes. See life cycle image below.

Once eaten, the larvae travels through the liver into the dog’s heart and blood vessels in their lungs where it can cause serious life-threatening problems if not diagnosed and treated immediately.

Lungworm is very common, particularly in South London as we have so many snails and foxes in these areas.

Is My Dog At Risk?

  • Does your pet eat slugs and snails?
  • Do you have foxes in your garden?
  • Does your pet go outside?

If you answered yes to any of the above, your pet is at high risk of being infected with Lungworm.

In addition, you can search for confirmed cases in your area, here.

What Is The Solution?

The really great news is that lungworm is usually, easily prevented. Stopping your pets from eating things in their environment can be challenging, but luckily, there are several preventative treatments that will prevent cats and dogs from picking up lungworm by killing the immature larvae before they can infect your pet. Some measures that can minimize the risk of infection, is to clean up after your dog and avoid leaving toys, water bowls or food outside.

The most effective solution is medication that can be prescribed only from your vets, such as Advocate spot-on for cats and dogs. As the medication can be very expensive, we have included the lungworm prevention treatment in our incredible healthcare plan to help you spread the costs while benefiting from discounts and other amazing offers! VIP healthcare plan is the best option that can guarantee lungworm prevention at a low cost!

It is important to note that for the lungworm prevention to be effective, the treatment must be given monthly and can only be prescribed by your vet. For more information on the lungworm, the treatment options and our VIP plans, call our surgery and our highly trained team will advise you on the best treatment for your pet!

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