How do dogs get lungworm?

  • Nelson,
  • March 15, 2022,
  • 6799

Dogs can become infected with Crenostoma vulpis by eating slugs or snails, or by eating another animal, such as a frog, mouse or bird that has eaten a slug or snail. The life cycle of other parasitic lungworms that infect dogs are more direct. Adult female worms lay their eggs in the tissues of an infected animal.

How do vets treat lungworm?

Your vet will kill the lungworm with a deworming product. Your dog will be carefully monitored during this process because killing lots of worms at once can cause an allergic reaction and be fatal.

How to treat lungworm in dogs?

The parasites can be killed with specific antiparasitic drugs depending on the type of lungworm. Different medications include ivermectin, fenbendazole (Panacur™), Moxidectin+Imidacloprid (Advantage Multi™), and Milbemycin Oxime+praziquantel (Interceptor Plus™).

Can you get tablets for lungworm in dogs?

Lungworm Medication for Cats & Dogs Lungworm can be serious if left untreated, Vetscriptons sell prescription lungworm treatment at a fraction of the price you would pay at your local vets. You can purchase it in either a spot-on treatment or a palatable tablet.

What is dog lungworm?

Lung worm is a type of parasitic worm that can infect dogs. Unlike other intestinal worms such as tapeworm and roundworm, adult lungworm travel around a dog's body and can damage their lungs and other major organs - causing fatal consequences if left untreated.

Can a dog get lungworm from licking a slug?

However, lungworm can be picked up if your dog licks or eats grass that a slug or snail has crawled across, or drinks water from outside. They can also contract lungworm if a slug or snail crawls over any toys or chews left out in the garden.

How can I prevent my dog from getting lungworm?

There are lots of ways you can act to reduce the risk, preventing your dog from getting lungworm as far as possible.

  1. Regularly use a lungworm anti-parasite treatment. Your vet can prescribe a simple, monthly treatment to prevent and treat lungworm that you can give to them.
  2. Avoid lungworm 'hotspots'
  3. Be vigilant.

Is lungworm common in UK?

Lungworm has been a common problem in southern areas of England and South Wales for some time, but the number of cases diagnosed in northern England and Scotland has risen too, so people all over the UK should be aware of lungworm.

Do all slugs carry lungworm?

Not every snail or slug carries the disease and lungworm's geographical limitations means infection is currently relatively uncommon, but it does rear its head from time to time. In extreme cases it causes the death of infected patients, so it is potentially extremely serious.

What do lungworms look like?

Lungworms are hair-shaped worms that generally range from one to four centimeters in length. The females are significantly longer than the males. Two species of this worm are able to infect cats. Aelurostrongylus abstrusus , also known as Feline Lungworm, is the most common lungworm found in cats.

How long do lungworm symptoms take to appear?

Lungworms can live and develop undetected because dogs may not show signs until the infection is in its later stages. Find out more about lungworm in dogs – the symptoms and treatment. In as little as 28 days after infection, the female adult worms can begin to lay eggs.

How quickly does lungworm develop?

After about 28 days the worms start to produce their own larvae which can lead to serious problems. It can cause haemorrhages in the lungs, liver, intestine, eyes and spinal cord but also pretty much anywhere in the body. If left untreated, it can be fatal in severe cases.

What are the signs of lungworm in dogs?

The most common symptoms of lungworm infection are:

  • Coughing.
  • Changes in breathing or struggling to breathe.
  • Going off food.
  • Upset tummy with vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Tiredness and depression.
  • Unexplained or excessive bruising.
  • Pale gums.

Can lungworm be treated in dogs?

Lungworm treatment is widely available from your vet and extremely easy to administer. Once diagnosed and treated, most dogs make a full recovery and, like all diseases, the key to successful treatment is taking action early.

Can a dog survive lungworm?

Different to intestinal worms, such as the tapeworm and roundworm, adult lungworm live in the heart and blood vessels of the lungs of dogs, which can be life threatening if left untreated.

Is my dog at risk of lungworm?

Dogs of all ages and breeds are susceptible to lungworm, with playful, younger dogs (less than 2 years old), unsurprisingly, more prone to picking up the parasite. Dogs known to purposely eat slugs and snails are obviously considered higher risk.


Hi, I'm Nelson. I've been a professional dog trainer for over 20 years, making my living teaching people how to train their dogs and helping them overcome their struggles with unwanted behaviors like pulling on the leash or not coming when called. I've owned several successful dog training businesses and have trained dogs for movies and TV shows. I've also been on local television and in a variety of magazines.

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