Is Your Dog in Danger from Lung Worm?

A nationwide survey of UK canine house owners and veterinary surgeons reveals the worrying development that many UK canine house owners can’t spot the dangers of lungworm – a parasite that may trigger extreme sickness and even loss of life if left untreated.

The survey, which was shared by animal well being firm Elanco as a part of April’s Nationwide Pet Month, additionally highlights that 77% of pet house owners don’t know if their canine is protected in opposition to lungworm. 

The UK-wide survey sought opinions from 500 pet house owners and 100 veterinary surgeons in March 2023. The outcomes confirmed that: 

  • Solely 25% of pet house owners fear about lungworm of their space in distinction with 50% of vets, who be aware this as a specific native concern. 
  • Just one in three canine house owners are conscious that lungworm may be probably discovered in all places  throughout the UK, a startling truth given the rise in staycations and individuals travelling throughout the UK  with their pets.  

Lungworm is spreading 

The survey highlighted {that a} third of veterinary surgeons have seen not less than one lungworm associated loss of life  in canine within the final 5 years, and 87% of veterinary surgeons have seen not less than one case of lungworm in  their profession. 

Lungworm was discovered solely in sure ‘hotspots’ within the UK, primarily within the South of England and  Wales. Nevertheless, examine information reveals that lungworm is spreading all through a lot of the UK, and it’s now  additionally endemic in Central England, with an growing variety of instances being reported in Northern England  and Scotland too.2 Regional case numbers may be checked at, and these proceed  to rise, regardless of it being preventable with remedy. 

Figuring out the indicators  

For Phoebe Claydon, a canine proprietor residing in Milton Keynes in South East England, uncommon lethargy and  an unintended fall from a settee was the primary signal that something was amiss with one-year-old Gracie, a  working Cocker Spaniel. The subsequent day, Gracie woke with a swollen face and bruised, black pores and skin ensuing  in an emergency sprint to her common veterinary apply. 

Gracie was handled by native veterinary surgeon Kim Hart who moved to Milton Keynes in June 2022 from a  apply in Bedford in East England. On this time, she has handled 3-4 severe instances of lungworm. 

“Training is required to verify lungworm is roofed with prescription remedy for these canine in danger.  Off-the-shelf medicines won’t be efficient, and so they can depart animals susceptible to lungworm,” mentioned  Kim. “Pets might have lungworm for a number of months undetected and it’s both detected by house owners solely  when signs have grow to be very extreme, or if a secondary downside triggers a go to to a veterinary  apply.” 

Gracie is again to full well being following remedy and has ‘extra vitality than ever’. “It might have an effect on each  single canine, so it will make sense that each single canine proprietor ought to find out about lungworm.” says  Phoebe. “I didn’t know lungworm may very well be deadly and if it had been left longer it may need been totally different.  Fortunately Gracie was treatable.” 

Survey information1 reveals that one in 4 canine house owners don’t recognise the signs of lungworm, which might  embrace behavioural adjustments, low vitality ranges and sudden bruising, as skilled by Gracie. One in 5 canine house owners are unaware of how lungworm is transmitted by means of frequent actions comparable to consuming  grass, ingesting from puddles or water bowls left exterior, in addition to consuming slugs and snails. 

Most canine house owners are not sure as as to whether their canine are protected in opposition to lungworm with this survey  demonstrating that solely 35% of pet house owners reported having spoken to somebody at their veterinary apply about lungworm. Many pet house owners mistakenly imagine that their animals are lined by non prescription worming therapies. If you’re not sure, go to your veterinary apply to talk with employees. 

Three steps to defending your pet 

  1. Examine your pet’s threat of lungworm and discover out extra at
  2. 2. Know the signs of lungworm and examine that your canine’s de-wormer consists of lungworm 
  3. 3. Communicate with employees at your veterinary apply about how greatest to forestall lungworm and the chance  elements in your space or locations you could be travelling to 

Image: Phoebe with Gracie, who has now totally recovered.

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