If your dog is diagnosed with lungworm, treatment is available from your vet and is easy to administer. Once diagnosed and treated, most dogs make a full recovery. The key to successful treatment is taking action early so if you think your dog has eaten a slug or snail or if it is showing any of the symptoms associated with Lungworm please contact your vet.
Although treatment is available and can result in full recovery this parasite can be fatal so it makes sense to consider a preventative regime for your dog. Preventative products are available and with regular use prevention is easy to achieve. Your vet will advise you on which worming products prevent against lungworm. Not all worming products protect against lungworm in dogs.
You can also adopt a few changes which will help to reduce your, and other dogs’ exposure to slugs and snails
Pick up toys from the garden: Toy’s left in the garden overnight are exposed to slugs and snails, that are most active during the hours of darkness. Smaller snails can reside in the crevices of toys or burrow underneath them and can be accidentally swallowed by dogs when playing with the toy. Be sure to pick up your dog’s toys at the end of each day and store them in a snail tight container.
Regularly clean water bowls: Slugs thrive in damp conditions and will seek out any source of moisture that they can. This makes a dog’s water bowl left outside an ideal target for slugs and snails. Make sure you change your dog’s water regularly, especially if the bowl sits outdoors.
Pick up the poo: The poo of a dog infected with lungworm will help spread the parasite to other slugs and snails, where it will develop. If two or more dogs share the same environment and one is found to be infected, the others may be at high risk due to exposure to the same surroundings. Foxes can also become infected with lungworm, and their increasing numbers in both towns and the countryside have been implicated in the spread.
Multi dog households: If you own a number of dogs and one becomes infected, make your veterinary surgeon aware as they may want to examine other dogs which share its environment.