Warning to dog owners after pet diagnosed with killer parasite lungworm

editorial image

A concerned veterinary practice is warning Derbyshire dog owners to keep a watchful eye over their pets after diagnosing a case of the killer parasite lungworm.

Chunk, a ten month old dachshund, was brought into Medivet at Alfreton by his worried owner, Jane Solt, after he started to show unusual symptoms.

The playful canine was still ‘eating, drinking and full of energy’- but Jane noticed he had deveoped a cough and his breathing was laboured.

Shock blood test and x-ray results revealed Chunk had lungworm and that his lungs were ‘full of blood’.

Jane, from Ripley, said: “The vet’s couldn’t believe how spirited Chunk was despite the fact he was really poorly.

“My advice would be to seek help if you are at all concerned, even if your dog seems fine.

“By the time we got Chunk to the vet’s he could barely breathe.”

Lungworm is contracted when a dog eats an infected slug or snail. Once dogs are infected, the lungworms live in their heart and major blood vessels supplying the lungs, causing serious health problems and sometimes death.

Fortunately, Chunk is expected make a full recovery after treatment.

But Babs Ingram, veterinary surgeon at Medivet, is still warning dog owners to be vigilant.

“Lungworm is not a common condition, but it is out there,” she said.

“Your vet will be able to advise on how to protect your dog from the disease.”