Lungworms

Lungworms

snail

This is a newly recognized parasite in the GTA. Lungworms are two different species of parasitic worms (Angiostrongylus vasorum and Crenosoma vulpis) that infect dogs. The organisms infect the heart and lungs and are spread by eating infected frogs, sniffing or licking slugs, snails, or the gooey trails these creatures leave behind. Once inside the body, these parasites migrate to the blood vessels of the heart and lungs, where these tiny worms invade the lung tissues, causing a serious inflammatory reaction in the airways. This reaction eventually causes bronchitis or pneumonia, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. This parasitic infection can also cause permanent changes in the lungs, blood clots, heart failure, and can migrate to other parts of the body. The most common sign of this infection is vague – a cough (either chronic or intermittent), especially a cough that doesn’t improve with time and treatment. While difficult to treat during its late stage, this parasitic infection can be prevented! A few of the best heartworm preventive treatments also prevent lungworms. Contact us today to learn more about how to protect your pet!

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