Published: 03 November 2021

The lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a parasite. It can cause serious health problems in dogs and can even be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.

It is carried by slugs and snails, and dogs can become infected when they accidentally (or purposefully) eat these.

The signs of lungworm
The signs of lungworm can be easily confused with other illnesses. Currently testing is done by taking blood samples or poo specimens.

If your dog is displaying any of the signs below, consult your veterinary surgeon immediately:
-Changes in behaviour
-Poor blood clotting
-Breathing problems
-General sickness

Prevention & treatment
Treatment is available and can result in full recovery. Preventative products are available and with regular use prevention is easy to achieve. Your veterinary surgeon can recommend a parasite control programme for your dog. If your dog eats slugs and snails, but is not showing any symptoms, arrange a check up with your veterinary surgeon as a precaution.

Always speak to your vet because not all worming products are effective against this particular parasite.

We cover this topic and others on our First Aid for Dogs course. Courses take place in venues across Sussex (Brighton and Angmering) as well as on Zoom. Our Zoom course dates can be found here, or take a look at our online course, which can be done at your own pace.

We also offer 'host your own' courses for groups of friends or colleagues.

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