I’m hoping that as dog owners many of you are already well aware of the risk that Lungworm (or Angiostrongylus vasorum to give it the correct name) can have on your dog. It is a parasite than can cause some serious health problems, or if left undiagnosed it could even be fatal… I am honoured to be a part of the ‘Act Against Lungworm’ campaign. A cause that for me is a very important one.
Back in April, Alfie and I headed into London to meet up with fellow canine influencers of all shapes and sizes, to get to know the cause a little more. I will admit that I thought I already knew a substantial amount about the risk of Lungworm and I already actively do all I can to help prevent it. It wasn’t until we sat down with celebrity vet Luke Gamble that I realised there was so much more to learn.
So, What is Lungworm?
Luke explained that the infection is commonly transmitted by slugs and snails, or in some cases the slimy trail they leave behind. I had always thought that Alfie would never really be one to be at risk of this disease as he is not one for taking any notice of slugs or snails. I completely overlooked accidental ingestion, for instance whilst he is out rummaging though the undergrowth, playing with a toy that has been left out in the garden. Even something so simple as drinking from a water bowl which could have come into contact with them.
How to spot it?
Spotting the signs of Lungworm can be difficult as the symptoms are easily confused with other illnesses. Some of the key symptoms include, vomiting and diarrhoea, poor appetite, weight loss, poor blood clotting and breathing difficulties. Obviously the majority of these things will need veterinary input anyway so spotting the early signs are crucial.
We also heard the heart breaking story of a family who had lost their beloved dog to lungworm. hearing their story really brings it home why this cause is so important. Thankfully methods of detecting Lungworms have been improved, so a simple blood test or stool sample can give you a diagnosis.
After that we headed to Streatham Common with the one and only Ben Fogle, we took a walk through the common. This was the perfect opportunity to get to know everyone a little better. The dogs had a great run together, in true Alf style he was off like a shot… Happily wiggling around everyone in hope that someone would play fetch with him.
Prevention is key
I think this is the most important thing to take away from this campaign. We do not want our dogs to get Lungworm so the key is prevention. The best thing is that with regular monthly use, prevention is easy… So don’t worry! There are preventative products available. Yes, these are a little bit more expensive but can you really put a price on your best friend? I definitely can not. Always speak to your vet to find out which product you should be using, because not all products are effective against Lungworm.
I hope you have found this useful, I can definitely let Alfie enjoy the countryside without a worry!
Emma & Alfie xox
* This post is sponsored by Bayer, in support of their ACT Against Lungworm campaign. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.