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Lungworm warning for dog owners


Friday March 7th 2014

Vets are alerting dog owners to check their pets for symptoms of lungworm, the potentially fatal parasite that is thought to be spreading across the UK.

Lungworm causes breathing difficulties, bleeding gums, eyes and nose, vomiting, diarrhoea and severe cases can kill.

Normally found in the south of England and Wales, the Royal Veterinary College is seeing evidence of it in the Midlands, the north and in Scotland. A fifth of vets across the country have come across cases of the parasite.

It is thought the widespread wet weather during the winter could be to blame, as slugs and snails carry the disease and infect dogs when eaten. Some dogs eat them on purpose but smaller creatures can be ingested in grass, soil and dog bowls or toys left outside.

Pharmaceutical company Bayer is launching its largest campaign to date to tackle the parasite, including a UK-wide, 24-hour radio station 'Hound Waves', featuring coverage of Crufts 2014.

Bayer wants dog owners to be aware of lungworm and consult a vet on how they can safeguard their dogs from it.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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