The lungworm Angiostrongylus vasorum (also known as French Heartworm) is a parasite that infects dogs. The adult of this particular lungworm lives in the heart and major blood vessels supplying the lungs, where it can cause a host of problems, including blood clotting problems. Left untreated, the infection can often be fatal. As signs are non-specific, diagnosis can be challenging. Larvae can be found in the faeces but often several samples are needed and the test is time consuming.
The worm is passed to dogs from slugs and snails, and has been found in contaminated water bowls left out overnight – dogs do not have to actually eat the slugs to become infected.
Regular treatment is often the best recommendation in affected areas – do ask us for our current advice.
Watch the video clip below for more detailed information on the lungworm risk and visit www.lungworm.co.uk for details on the life cycle.