Vets warn of deadly parasite
Vets are warning dog owners to keep an eye out for symptoms of a potentially fatal parasite carried by slugs and snails.
Canines which have a taste for garden molluscs could be ingesting the parasite lungworm, which attacks the heart and the major blood vessels supplying the lungs.
The parasite is transferred to the animal's vital organs via the bloodstream and can be fatal if left untreated.
Symptoms include coughing, vomiting and, in serious cases, joint stiffness.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Vet Shabbir Shariff, from Companion Care Veterinary Centre, in Fosse Park, said: "Dogs which have picked up a lungworm parasite can show a number of symptoms and the condition can be extremely hard for vets to diagnose.
"Lungworm often gives rise to breathing difficulties, ranging from a lack of energy to coughing."
He said dogs may also show general signs of being unwell, including weight loss, reduced appetite and vomiting.
Mr Shariff said he had treated five cases in the past two years.
Other practices have also reported seeing a number of animals with lungworm.
Bell, Brown and Bentley, in London Road, Leicester, said it had seen "a few cases" within the past couple of months.
Veterinary surgeon Tudor Lloyd, who works for the Park Veterinary Group, in Glenfield, reported a rise in lungworm over the past four years. However, he said the condition was easily treatable if identified early.
He said: "We've seen fatalities in this area, but it's easily treated with something as simple as flea drops.
"They kill the parasite and it just takes a few drops at the back of the neck."
Mr Lloyd said a number of cases involved terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers.
"Anecdotally it tends to involve those two breeds because they like to pick snails and crunch them," he said.
"The parasites then travel through the blood and enter the lungs."
For more information, visit: