An urgent warning has been sent to dog owners about a dangerous parasite that causes all of the symptoms.
THOUSANDS OF DOG ADOPTIONS have put them at risk of contracting a fatal parasite.
Lungworm, a fatal parasite carried by slugs and snails, is being warned about by veterinarians. Many dog owners will undoubtedly be walking their pets without protection, with the wet weather exacerbating the harm posed to their pets by the abundance of slugs and snails.
According to an Elanco Animal Health survey, 42% of dog owners have no concept what lungworm is or how it can harm their pets.
Veterinarians are growing concerned that not enough dogs are effectively safeguarded, given the enormous number of canines adopted in the recent year.
Only 21% of dog owners surveyed had given their pet a lungworm prophylactic treatment in the previous month, according to the survey.
When dogs consume a slug or snail, they risk contracting the parasite, which can be fatal.
It’s also spread by burrowing through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles and outdoor water basins, and picking up toys.
Among the signs and symptoms are:
“The slime of slugs and snails can contain the infective lungworm parasite that can cause sickness in dogs,” said Dr Bryony Tolhurst, a behavioural ecologist at the University of Brighton.
“Slugs and snails are more active this year due to the abnormally wet weather in the UK, and lungworm larvae can survive for up to two weeks in their slime, potentially exposing dogs to the parasite.”
Lungworm symptoms are not always visible, according to veterinarians, and puppies are especially inclined to ingest slugs and snails.
Because the infection is easier to prevent than to treat, specialists advise dog owners to keep a close check on what their pets eat.
Lungworm can be easily avoided by ensuring that your dog’s de-worming medications include lungworm protection, according to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
Elanco’s Lungworm Map can also be used by dog owners to look for instances in their area.
The fieldwork for the aforementioned online survey was conducted on June 2 and 3, with a sample size of 2,003 individuals, 535 of whom were dog owners.