Lungworm in Dogs
If you’re a dog owner, you might be wondering what lungworm is and why it’s important for dog owners in Norfolk, then read on.
Lungworms are parasitic nematode worms that infest the lungs of vertebrates and migrate to their hosts’ lungs or respiratory tracts, causing bronchitis or pneumonia.
The lungworm will gradually damage the airways or lung tissue by inciting an inflammatory reaction.
The most common lungworms belong to one of two groups, the superfamily Trichostrongyloidea or the superfamily Metastrongyloidea, but not all the species in these superfamilies are lungworms.
The lungworms in the superfamily Trichostrongyloidea include several species in the genus Dictyocaulus which infest hoofed animals, such as cattle, deer, horses, sheep, and goats.
The lungworms in the superfamily Metastrongyloidea include species that infest a wider range of mammals, including cats and dogs.
Oslerus osleri is found in dogs, and Aelurostrongylus abstrusus is found in cats
Is Lungworm in Norfolk?
I am afraid the answer is yes, the image below is an indication of the reported cases as of June 2022.
For a more up-to-date record of cases go here
How can my dog contract Lungworm
Slugs or snails are the intermediate hosts of Lungworm, so it is very easy for the parasite egg to enter the dog’s respiratory tract when your dog accidentally or deliberately ingests slugs or snails including their slime whilst rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or picking up their toys from where snails have been, e.g. in the long grass.
These are all very normal dog behaviours so there’s not much you can do to stop dogs from doing these things!
What are the symptoms of Lungworm in dogs?
Lungworm is primarily an upper respiratory tract infection (URTIs). The most common symptoms of URTI in dogs include sneezing, coughing, fever, nasal discharge, breathing difficulties and poor appetite, and blood taking longer to clot in cuts.
If left untreated, lungworm disease can lead to severe pneumonia or even death. If your dog exhibits any unexplained illnesses, it is important to seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will conduct tests specific to your dog’s lifestyle and environment in order for the diagnosis to be made quickly and the appropriate treatment administered without delay.
Is there a cure for lungworm in dogs?
Yes, there is if caught early.
Call your vet if you are concerned and they will do the tests and can administer treatment. Most dogs will make a full recovery, but like every disease the earlier it is identified the easier it is to treat.
Why are Norfolk Dog Photographers writing about Lungworm?
After reading The EDP Article about Lungworm we wanted to find out more about it, as we are 100% dog people and want to help keep all dawgs safe and happy. If you want to know more about our dog photography then why not download our brochure.