What is lungworm?
The lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a parasite that can cause serious health problems in dogs and can even be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.
Slugs and snails carry the lungworm larvae, and dogs can become infected when they eat these common garden pests accidentally or deliberately, whilst rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or pick them up from their toys.
The lungworm Angiostrongylus vasorum is now endemic throughout much of the UK.
Which dogs are at risk?
Dogs of all ages and breeds can become infected, but younger dogs seem to be more prone to picking up the parasite, and dogs who are known to eat slugs and snails are also considered at high risk.
Preventative products are available and with regular use, prevention is easy to achieve; always speak to your vet because not all worming products are effective against this particular parasite.
OTHER TYPES OF LUNGWORM
There are also other lungworms which can infect your dog. If you are concerned in any way that your dog is unwell, seek veterinary advice.
RISK TO HUMANS AND CATS
LUNGWORM & HUMANS
The lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is not known to infect humans. However, dogs and cats can carry roundworms, which can cause diseases in people, so make sure you keep your pet’s parasite protection programme up-to-date. You can find out more about Roundworm at the It’s a jungle website.
LUNGWORM & CATS
Cats can become infected with another type of lungworm (Aelurostrongylus abstrusus). If you are worried that your cat may be showing symptoms similar to those described for dogs (particularly coughing), speak to your vet for advice.
If you are concerned about any of the information you’ve read above or have any further questions, please speak to your veterinary surgeon.