(Angiostrongylus Vasorum) or French Heart Worm as it is also called, is a parasite that infects dogs and foxes. The adult lives in the heart and its surrounding blood vessels, particularly those supplying the lungs. Lungworm is carried by slugs and snails, which can be ingested by pets.
Infected dogs can become quite unwell with a variety of clinical signs and also play a part in the lifecycle and spread of the disease. Regular wormers do not treat or prevent lungworm. However it is easily treated and prevented by application of a specific spot-on, which you can buy from your Vet. The parasite and hence the disease, is becoming quite prevalent in this area and we have had several confirmed cases, with many more suspected.
“Jude”, a 4-year-old working Labrador was brought into Cameron and Greig with a sudden onset pneumonic chest and high temperature. She was very unwell and was hospitalised immediately. Jude was given antibiotics along with anti-inflammatory treatment and improved quite rapidly, although she developed a chronic cough over the following week.
Jude was later admitted for endoscopy and radiography, which confirmed the presence of lungworm (Angiostrongylus Vasorum). Worms were seen in her windpipe and she was given the specific spot-on treatment. Jude has since made a full recovery, and returned to work before the end of the shooting season.