Lungworm in dogs and cats

We are told to be fearful of lungworm in dogs, through eating slugs and snails. The weather this summer has brought on a plague of these creatures so should we worry?

At the AVMC, to our knowledge, we have met just one dog with this disease, which means it is NOT prevalent. However, we cannot say there is no risk.

If you are concerned about your dog, faeces and serum samples should be sent to a bona fide veterinary laboratory for testing for Angiostrongylus vasorum.

In cats, the disease is a little different. The parasite is Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, which is usually picked up by cats from mice, voles, frogs, lizards and other small creatures, which act as ‘paratenic’ hosts. Cats are much less likely to eat slugs and snails.

Links for more information: www.alternativevet.org/dog_diseases.htm#lungworm or www.alternativevet.org/cat_diseases.htm#lungworm

Main website: www.alternativevet.org