Don't you find our furry canine friends spend much of every day sniffing and licking things they probably shouldn’t?
Here at Ashwood we have diagnosed lungworm as recently as December 2017. With the owner’s permission, we want to share the story of ‘Bear’ with you so you know what to look for!
Bear is a 6 year old Alaskan Malamute and certainly lives up to his name! He arrived at the clinic very dull, coughing and had had ‘fainting’ episodes the day before. Bear was dangerously ill. We were very concerned and urgently investigated to determine the cause. We monitored him very closely because his blood counts were falling and when Lungworm was diagnosed, we instigated treatment immediately. Bear is thankfully recovering well now, because his owners were so quick to spot that something serious was wrong. It'll be wonderful to see him back to his usual boisterous self!
Bear became infected with lungworms by ingesting slugs, snails or possibly their slimey trail. Slugs and snails are impossible to keep away from our back gardens or pathways. This means that every dog is susceptible to becoming infected with lungworm.
Yes! Lungworm is an aggressive parasite that is potentially life-threatening!
The most common signs of lungworm are coughing, dullness and not eating well. Further problems include internal bleeding (which is why Bear had those fainting episodes).
It used to be uncommon, but there have been 13 locally reported cases in the last year and numerous unreported cases. But the good news is Lungworm is completely preventable. In response to the ever increasing number of local dogs becoming infected, we now recommend a specific monthly worming treatment. When used at correct intervals this will stop the worm life cycle and prevent lungworm infection. If you have any questions or are concerned your dog may have been exposed to lungworm, don’t hesitate to call Kelly on our reception (02890 419374) or email () for advice or to book a check-up appointment. If we are suspicious of lungworm infection, there is a quick and simple blood test that tells us if your dog is infected.
Thanks for reading,
I want to tell you a little about one of our favourite breeds - Pugs. Originally from China, Pugs were brought to Europe in the sixteenth century. They gained popularity during the Victorian era and are now one of our favourite pets. They have very distinct personalities and a flat-faced appearance. Pugs are often described as being a large dog trapped in a small dog's body as they are often very strong-willed, as anyone who has tried to clip a Pug's nails will be quick to tell you!
Although Pugs make great family pets and usually get on great with other dogs and children, their breeding means that they are susceptible to certain health problems. These include corneal ulcers, skin fold dermatitis, and a breathing problem called "Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome" (BOAS), which we're going to focus on today.
A Pug's very short face makes them more likely to suffer from difficulty breathing due to small nostrils and narrow airways. Signs that your pug may be suffering include: snoring, snorting, regurgitation of food after eating, and intolerance to heat. If left untreated the condition can cause collapse or life-threatening sudden laryngeal failure in the windpipe. Sounds awful, doesn't it?
However, there are things we can do to help our precious friends. We can help them by feeding them carefully to keep them fit, as heavier dogs have greater difficulty breathing. But if your Pug is already showing the signs mentioned above, it could well be that we should consider surgery to help them get air in and out of their chest more easily and help correct some of the problems that make breathing harder for Pugs. This could include widening their nostrils, shortening their soft palate, and dealing with any prolapsed throat tissue.
This is an area in which we have a particular interest at Ashwood. If you think your pet's breathing is noisy, give me a call on 02890 419374 or email me at and I will be pleased to have a chat and arrange to look at your pet at a time that suits you.
Thanks for reading,