18/09/2017

SLUGS, SNAILS AND PUPPY ‘FAILS’ - ACT AGAINST LUNGWORM CAMPAIGN


I want you to close your eyes for 10 seconds and imagine walking into your garden and finding your dog on the floor. He looks asleep, but he isn't responding to his name. You think this is weird because it's not warm outside. It's been raining all week and it finally stopped an hour ago. His favourite treats are not even enticing him to respond to you. Then you notice his chest isn't moving up and down. Your dog isn't breathing and he's died within the last 30 minutes since you was last outside.

You take him straight to the vet and it's confirmed your beloved best friend is on his way to crossing the rainbow bridge. You're told he had lungworm in his system and you can't understand how it happened. However, you then remember a few days ago when he had his nose in the ground in the garden. He was desperately trying to scrape something out of the soil, but you walked away and didn't give it a thought.

It was a snail running alive with the parasite known as Lungworm. You didn't act upon this. A few days later and it's too late. The parasite has killed your best friend. 



If you have experience with Labradors (or just very food orientated dogs), you will know that they eat EVERYTHING. Elsie has been known to munch on the likes of socks, pebbles, walls and even glass. Don't ask.


A few months ago,  I had to rush Elsie to the vet, with the fear and concern she had eaten a snail in the garden. We was given an Advocate medication treatment, which she needed to take for a week, just incase she had picked the parasite up.

We have quite a large garden, so it can be hard to hunt down every single snail and remove them all. Most of them are hidden away in soil too! Whilst so many people would brush this off and not worry about it, there are so many dangers for dogs if they are in contact with snails and slugs... or even within an area of the garden where the slimy creatures have been.


I am joining forces with Bayer: Animal Health, to help spread awareness for their current campaign called #ActAgainstLungworm. In this post, you'll find out all about the disease, how it's caught, what to do if your dog has it and how to prevent your pooch getting it.


As a dog owner, I see Elsie as my fur baby and will do anything to protect her from everything. The day I picked her up, was the day I agreed to be a responsible owner and dog mumma and since then, I have done everything in my control to make sure she lives a happy and fulfilled life.

I know there are so many responsible dog owners out there, which is why I have asked some blogger pals to send me some photos of their pampered pooches. All of these dogs are clearly looked after (and SUPER cute!) and are living very happy lives!

L-R: 8 month old Caspar owned by Jack from no34 / Louie the pug owned by Alicia / Hutch owned by Lindsay / Henry the french bulldog @henrythepig_ / Elsie @Elsiechoclab / Lily and lil sis to Severus, owned by Steph / Baker owned by Danielle / Sisters Milly and Bella owned by Lauren at NakedFashions / xx owned by Loren Green

Elsie wanted to take charge of this campaign, to spread the word to all her fabulous human and furry internet friends. Join her in the video below on a recent dog walk to see what she gets up to and just how hard it can be to watch her every 4 legged move!


Dogs deserve a chance to live happy too. 

Lungworm or Angiostronglylus Vasorum is a parasite that is carried in the larvae and slime on snails and slugs. With wet weather on the rise recently, this will mean that those pesky snails and slugs will be coming out more regularly. After the rain has passed, they nest themselves into moist areas of the garden.

If dogs eat snails or slugs, or even come into contact with an area that a snail has been in; they can get lungworm. Lungworm can also be caught by coming into contact with other infected areas. Simple doggy acts such as eating grass, drinking puddles and even playing with toys that have been left outside and crawled over by snails, can all be infected with the parasite.

Simple measures can be put in place to put your dog at low risk of ever catching lungworm.

1) It's really important to clean out water bowls regularly, especially outdoor bowls. Change the water frequently to ensure your dog is drinking fresh and clean water; untouched by snails.

2) Dog poop that is infected with lungworm actually attracts snails and slugs, so it's a wise idea to regularly pick up and dispose of poop as quickly as possible.

3) Leaving toys in the garden puts your dog at risk if they are left out in the rain or in moist areas. We group together Elsie's toys regularly and clean them too.

4) If you have more than one dog and one gets infected, it's highly advisable to get both (or all) dogs checked out.


Lungworm is a serious health problem and it can be FATAL.


Puppies and younger dogs are more prone to catching lungworm due to their inquisitive nature. As a new dog owner almost two years ago, I admittedly didn't know very much about lungworm. However, when I registered Elsie with her vet, I asked them lots of questions and got myself educated. It's so important to know the facts as it could save your dog's life at any point.

Lungworm is treatable and can cure a dog, however it can also kill a dog if left untreated. Prevention measures should be taken to prevent a dog ever having to be treated in the first place. Worming tablets should be ingested by your dog every 3 months and this does prevent against lungworm. However, it is advisable to get products for prevention and use them once a month. Worming tablets are only used 4 times a year, which is not regular enough for the other 8 months of the year.

It's better to be safe, than sorry. Isn't your best friend worth it?


Over 100 cases were reported in the UK between February and May 2017; and 9 of those resulted in deaths. It's a fact that a young puppy who has lungworm and isn't treated, will only live between 10-14 months. Scary to think that this is a true fact, but this is still something that many new pet owners will ignore or don't even know about. 

A survey was run by Bayer Animal Health and 1000 puppy owners took part. Results were shocking and found that 88% of owners knew what lungworm was, but only 45% of owners took action when their dog had been in contact with a snail or slug. 70% of these owners also admitted they are not treating their dogs to a monthly treatment against worms, lungworm, tapeworm etc. 

Shocking! Irresponsible! Barbaric!  

1291 cases of lungworm have been reported within 50 miles of my postcode. 

A shocking number, so it worries me how many more unreported cases could increase this number much more. Living in Essex means I am surrounded by many parks and a few forests too; common places for snails and slugs to set up camp in. I thought the number of cases would be high, but I never anticipated it to be over 1000 cases.

Lungworm is widespread and many cases are left unreported. Nobody knows the true extent of the parasite and just how many dogs really are affected. 

You can check how many cases have been reported in your area, by entering your postcode here and it will give you a rough estimation.


I spoke to my local veterinary surgery, Vets4Pets in Chadwell Heath, who kindly answered some burning questions I had about lungworm. 

1. How does Lungworm attack the body? Are certain organs attacked?
Lungworm is a parasite that can cause serious health problems in dogs and could even be fatal if left untreated. Slugs and snails carry the larvae of the lungworm parasite and can infect dogs if ingested. These larvae then penetrate the intestinal wall where they then migrate into the lungs through the bloodstream. They reside in the lungs until they develop into an adult lungworm. The adult lungworm produce eggs that reside in the lungs, which are coughed up and then ingested back into the stomach and finally released into the environment via faeces. Slugs and snails that come into contact with the faeces will become infected and the cycle continues.

2. What are the symptoms of Lungworm that owners should look out for?
Lungworm infections can result in a number of different signs. The most common symptoms to watch out for are coughing, wheezing and weight loss. As the number of worms multiply, the cough may worsen and breathing may become rapid and heavy. You may also notice behavioural changes in your pet. Lungworm can cause dogs to become lethargic and it can sometimes cause seizures. you may also notice nose bleeds, excessive bleeding from minor wounds and bleeding in the eyes.

3. What should dog owners do with snails they find in the garden?
You should remove any snails or slugs in your garden and also de-slug your garden (but take care of slug pellets!). You should not leave any toys, water or food bowls in the garden for slugs and snails to crawl over. 

4. How many cases of Lungworm has Vets4Pets, Chadwell Heath had?
1 case.

5. What should dog owners do when they have found or think their dog has eaten a snail/slug?
We always recommend treating animals monthly with Advocate. This spot-on treatment is licensed for both the treatment and prevention of Lungworm. If you suspect your pet has ingested a slug or snail, you can visit us in practice to start a monthly spot-on treatment. We also offer care plans that help spread the cost of flea and worming treatment, such as Advocate.

6. What is the treatment for Lungworm?
It’s the same as prevention. However, in some extreme cases, your pet may require extra treatment such as blood transfusion to replace lost blood or antibiotics to treat secondary pneumonia.

7. Can a pregnant dog with Lungworm pass it onto her unborn puppies?
Yes. Puppies can become infected by their mother if they ingest faeces from her or if they are licked by her. If you notice any of the lungworm symptoms in your pet or if you are concerned, you should consult your veterinary practice as soon as possible.


Bayer's 2017 campaign called Act Against Lungworm is to raise awareness of the ongoing problem with lungworm and to educate pet owners about the risk. When taking your dog to a new area, it's advisable to check the map to see how many reported cases of lungworm there have been in that area. 

I hope this has post has raised some awareness for you reading and you have learned something new; no matter how big or small. Dogs are for life!

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Bayer Animal Health. All words are my own.  Photography has been provided from various bloggers with dogs; all of which have been credited. 
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108 comments

  1. Wow I had no idea about this and as someone who has a dog this is really quite scary! Thank you for raising awareness of this!

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    1. You're welcome! I'm glad you have learnt something from this post for your dog x

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  2. It is scary how many people don't know about Lung Worm and just how dangerous it can be to your pet.

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    1. Agreed! I hope Elsie never has to deal with the problem :(

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  3. My friend's dog had Lungworm and it's so important more people know and understand all about it! Great post for creating awareness!

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    1. Oh gosh was the dog OK in the end? Such a scary thing for the pet and owner to go through.

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    2. Oh my goodness Kayleigh. I hope their dog got treated in time?! x

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  4. Lung worms also affect cats as well and will kill them much faster due to body size.
    You dog looked really cute with that snail on his head.....

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    1. Yep, lungworm is present in both dogs and cats but more common in dogs.

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  5. You know I know lung worms can be dangerous for dogs but didn't know they could act that quite and kill your dog. Thanks for the information and what a great campaign

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    1. I am glad you have learned something from the campaign, Anosa.

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  6. Our Lilly is very much food crazy (lab cross) but I've never seen her reaching for a snail or any other living creatures for that matter

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    1. Ah, you are lucky then! Elsie is the complete opposite!

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  7. I know so much about the dangers of lungworms. We have a 14 year old Dalmatian and it's terrifying to see the slugs and snails in the garden! I didn't know that a pregnant dog can pass it on to her pups tho x

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    1. Wow, 14! That's impressive! I didn't know about mum passing it onto pups either, until I spoke to our vet!

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  8. I had no idea of the dangers to dogs from snails, I'd never have realized it could be so harmful for them x

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    1. Yep, it's a scary thing everyone should know about if they own a dog!

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  9. I am not a dog owner so I am not familiar with the lungworm or how the pets can get infected with it. It's sad that people don't really pay attention or don't recognise the symptoms their pets show. It is important to have this awarness campaign on how to spot the signs of lungworms.

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    1. Hi Joanna. It should be protocol for new and existing dog owners to check for these things to ensure their dogs live happy lives. It saddens me too that lots of people are unaware of this and don't know how to prevent lungworm. Ax

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  10. What a great campaign to be involved in and those photos are just too precious! Great information here, thank you!

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  11. Wow this is really interesting. We have been thinking about getting a puppy but I didn't know much about lungworm. Seems I have a lot to learn.

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    1. Aww, that's cute! What breed are you looking at getting? There is so much to read up on when you get a puppy. It's honestly like having a child!

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  12. Oh my god poor Elsie thank goodness you acted in time. I am sorry to hear that lungworm can be so common but thank you for raising awareness!

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  13. Scary how easy it is to pick up! I'm glad that the cure and prevention aren't too much of a pain, at least. It's great that campaigns like this can raise awareness of what to look out for.

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    1. Thanks Emily. Yeah, the cure and prevention is just a tablet that can be mashed up in food, so isn't too bad!

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  14. Thank you for raising awareness around Lungworm. Reading this has been a real eye opener. I've never heard of lungworm before. I don't have a dog anymore but my friends do. I will certainly inform them on what to do and what they shouldn't do.

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    1. You are very welcome! This is why I said yes to being a part of the campaign; to get the message out there as much as possible. Thank you for sharing with your friends.

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  15. I'm glad that I stumbled into this information and learned something from it. I too would want the best for my dog and wouldn't want her getting lung worm which I didn't know about until I stumbled into this post.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Angela. I am glad you learned something x

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  16. I can't get over how stunning these photos are. Well done for raising so much awareness!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

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  17. Oh gosh, how worrying. I had heard of lungworm, but had absolutely no idea how dangerous it could be. How on earth do you keep track when you have a big garden? Thanks for telling us more about it!

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    1. Hello. Well, I am glad you have learned about it now. It's really hard to keep track of them 24/7 but we usually don't let her out in the garden when it's raining and then do about 3 checks after rain has stopped.

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  18. This is so informative. I've heard about this before from my parents as they're dog owners but not in so much depth. I will be passing this on x

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  19. Elsie is so gorgeous! I couldn't bear the thought of this happening to my own fur baby (also a chocolate lab), so I'm definitely going to be taking extra precautions from now on!

    Sara - Flemingo

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  20. Your dog is so beautiful. I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to our pooch, he's such a special part of the family. Thank you so much for this post, it was very informative.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca :) Aww, yeah same. I'd be so devastated :(

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  21. What a fab campaign and great that you have got involved to raise awareness:)x

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  22. Oh wow that's such an awful thought to lose a loved pet to a parasite. It's great you are helping to highlight this.

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    1. I could never forgive myself if I left Elsie untreated and lost her!

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  23. OMG I never knew this. These sound horrible. I never thought about snails in the garden, will have to let me mum and sister know has they both have dogs.

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    1. Yep! Definitely let as many dogs owners you know as possible!

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  24. I would be devastated to see my pet dog lying dead due to lungworm, well done for raising awareness!

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  25. We don't have a dog, but are thinking about getting one next summer. It's so important to understand ALL the responsibilities of being a dog owner, including risks such as lungworm. Thanks for highlighting this. x

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    1. You're welcome! It really is important to educate yourself before buying a puppy, I agree. Very excited for you though! x

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  26. When I lived with my Mum, we always had dogs, but I never knew anything about this... it's so great that you are bringing this to people's attention so that more people are aware of the devastation this can cause!

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  27. Our biggest fear for our boy. We protect him against lungworm and because I HATE slugs and worms often make sure we don't have any around in the garden if he's in it. Xx

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    1. You're a very responsible dog owner, Leah! Well done for protecting your boy xx

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  28. This is a great awareness campaign. I had not previously heard of lungworm but thanks to your post, I now have the necessary information.

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  29. Jesus Ashleigh, you really went in on the first paragraph didn't you? Way to his a gal in her feels haha. Seriously though, this gets overlooked by so many dog owners!

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    1. Haha! Had to capture the attention of all dog owners and that was the only way! xx

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  30. We're not dog owners, but know many so will pass on your advice. #ActAgainstLungworm sounds like an important campaign ad it's great you are raising awareness x

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  31. I had heard of lungworm but had no idea its spread through snails and slugs. It must be a nightmare trying to keep dogs away from them! The Act Against Lungworm campaign is brilliant, hopefully it will raise lots of awareness of lungworm, its causes and the treatments available.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Helerina. Yep, those pesky snails and slugs are the cause! So scary x

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  32. I remember coming across your post on Instagram. Didn't know that dogs can get infected as well. It's a great campaign and you're doing a great job raising awareness.

    Fatima

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    1. Aw, I am so glad you saw the accompanying Instagram too! Thanks so much x

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  33. So scary how quickly it can have devastating effects - well done for raising awareness x ps your dog is Amazing!!!

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  34. Oh gosh, I've never heard of this before. I have an exceptionally curious sprocker so I'll have to keep an eye out for slugs and snails. Thank you for sharing this information.

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    1. Ah, I am so glad you read this post then!

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  35. I am not a dog owner but many of my friends are and it is scary to think how quickly things can happen!! Thanks for the info!

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    1. It really is terrifying :( You're welcome and thanks for your comment.

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  36. I had no idea about lungworm until I read your post, it's very informative.

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  37. What a great campaign, and well done for raising awareness. That dog is so cute too.

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  38. Wow, I had no idea about lungworm so what a great, educating campaign.

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  39. im hgaving a nightmare with slugs coming into my home at the moment , we have two german sheperds and have to keep an eye out in the kitchen on annighttime the slugs make there way along one side of the wall its disgusting and worrying

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    1. Oh my goodness, so sorry to hear this! Definitely try and get some slug repellant or something. I hope your dogs don't get into contact with them! Bless them x

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  40. I will definitely be sharing this information with friends who have dogs, how awful and worrying! Great way to raise awareness x

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  41. what a great way to raise awareness and a dog owner this has been a very informative and helpful post so thank you

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  42. You know what? I've never had a dog, so I didn't really know much about lungworm. This is definitely something more people need to be made aware of at least.

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    1. Scary how many people have never heard of it before :(

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  43. Yikes!! I never knew that snails and slugs could carry this - how awful! :( This post is such a great way to spread awareness though! I don't have dogs, but I do have 4 cats, and the thought of them catching any type of parasitic worm really worries me, as they can be such a silent killer! :( xx

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    1. Hi Chrissy. It's important to know that cats can catch it too. So really scary also if you have outdoor cats xx

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  44. I have a 7 month old Chow Chow and I treat him against the possibility of picking up this horrendous condition. He eats everything in sight, so I would rather be safer than devastated if he got ill

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    1. I am so glad you're looking after your dog as best as possible xx

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  45. Well done for drawing awareness to owners out there to keep there doggies safe can't say I've ever heard of lung worm but I've never been a dog owner

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    1. Thank you! Now you know for if you ever get a dog :)

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  46. Hi, I'm Diane C. Brown. Already I read your articles. Well done for drawing awareness to owners out there to keep there doggies safe can't say I've ever heard of lung worm but I've never been a dog owner. I don't have dogs, but I do have 4 cats, and the thought of them catching any type of parasitic worm really worries me, as they can be such a silent killer!http://onedaytop.com/top-4-hints-running-dog/

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  47. I've never heard of lungworm but I really appreciate the awareness. I will tell my friends who have pets!

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    1. Thanks for passing on the message, Candice :)

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  48. Such an important post and thank you so much for writing it. We have a chocolate Labrador called Bailey and I can relate because he eats EVERYTHING. We're always taking turns to check the garden and ensure that he takes treatment tablets. He's now 11 and is such a huge part of our family, but I've never stopped worrying about what he might try and eat next!

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    1. Aww so lovely to hear from another chocolate labrador owner. Bailey is a lovely name! They do eat everything don't they. I thought it was just Elsie judging by a lot of these comments, but clearly not haha. Glad you are looking after Bailey as best as possible. He's very lucky x

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  49. I have heard of this as we used to have dogs. It's great more awareness is being raised about it

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  50. I'd heard of lungworm but never really knew much about it so really interestig to read about it and know what I look for!

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  51. We don't have any pets at the mo, so I wasn't really aware of what lungworm was. It doesn't sound nice though. I hope lots of dog owners read your post and learn what to look for with their own fur babies :)

    Louise x

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    1. Thanks Louise. I am glad you know what it is now x

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  52. Great campaign - to be honest I didn't even know what lungworm was, so its good to share awareness. I'll be telling people I know with pets!

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    1. Thanks for sharing with friends Amy x

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  53. This is a really great campaign. Lungworm is scary! I was reading up on it while I was in the waiting room of the vets the other day x

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    1. Ah, I am glad your vets are making it clear for people to read when waiting. Amazing idea for awareness x

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  54. Omg I've never heard of lungworm before and I would be devastated if anything ever happened to my two dog babies. Thanks for making me aware!

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    1. You are welcome. I am so happy that so many people have learned something from this campaign :)

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  55. Thank you for sharing this. My mothering law has a beautiful dog and we would be heartbroken if anything happened to him. I will get her to take a read of this x

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing with your mother-in-law. xx

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  56. I can only imagine the heartbreak if you were to lose your pet so it's great you're spreading awareness of this disease!

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