Clear your garden path in this wet weather, warns PDSA: dogs in danger from lungworms / slugs

The current wet summer weather may be annoying for us but it’s causing chest problems for many of our pet cats and dogs, says leading veterinary charity, PDSA. In many areas of the UK, vets are seeing cats and dogs with lungworms caused by eating snails, which thrive in wet conditions.

Sean Wensley, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, says: “Some slugs and snails carry infective larvae which, if eaten by a cat or a dog, can lead to lungworm. In cats, these lungworms live in the lungs, which can cause the cat to cough. In the dog, these thin worms live in the blood vessels that supply the lungs, which can also cause coughing, as well as problems with the circulation.

In rare cases these worm infestations can be very serious indeed – even fatal. PDSA vets have seen a gradual increase in pets affected by lungworm, which was previously confined only to Wales and the South West, but is now seen in many areas of the UK.”

“This rise in the number of cases of lungworm should remind pet owners of the importance of getting their pet regularly wormed by their vet. Lungworm is just one of many types of worm that are prevented by regular worming with an effective worming product.”

It’s not just a pet’s health that can be affected by worms; they can pose a real health risk to humans too. Some worms and other parasites can be passed onto humans from cats and dogs which can prove particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women, causing blindness and birth defects.

PDSA recommends dog and cat owners carry out a thorough worming programme for the whole of their pet’s life and produces a free Leaflet on Worms which gives advice on what to look for and how to prevent your pet getting worms.

This forms part of a range of leaflets on pet care topics including First Aid, Diet and Nutrition and Vaccinations. The leaflets are available from PDSA PetAid hospitals and charity shops nationwide. Further information can be obtained from www.pdsa.org.uk or by calling freephone 0800 917 2509

Lungworms in dogs

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