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Lungworm in Dogs

16th August 2021

What is Lungworm?

Lungworms are small parasites which are ingested when a dog eats infected snails, slugs or frogs. These can be ingested if a dog picks up a toy which has been outside etc.

Lungworms can cause haemorrhages in the lungs, intestines, liver, spinal cord and eyes. These are just main examples of areas; they can actually cause haemorrhages anywhere in the body. If untreated it can be fatal.

Symptoms of Lungworm:

Symptoms can vary but they can include:

  • Coughing
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Breathing problems
  • Abnormal blood clotting
  • A small cut could bleed for longer than normal


Confirming a dog has lungworm can be quite difficult. Vets usually examine a sample of the dog’s faeces but this isn’t 100% reliable as not every sample will have a presence of lungworm.

The disease can be passed from dog to dog but larvae will be in their waste. It’s important to pick up dog waste as soon as possible.

The larvae will infect more slugs and snails which are then ingested by other dogs.


It’s best to discuss preventative measures with your vet especially if you travel around southern England or South Wales.

Keep an eye out for slugs and snails in your garden / local park.