Heartbreak as lockdown puppy dies after eating deadly parasite found in snail slime

One dog owner has encouraged others to beware of a deadly parasite that afflicts dogs after their lockdown puppy died shortly after coming into contact with them.

Lungworm is an infection caused by the roundworm parasite called angiostrongylus vasorum. Slugs and slugs carry the lungworm larvae, and dogs generally become infected when they play with or eat them.

Once a rare disease in the UK, the lungworm is now widespread across the country, with cases rising sharply, particularly due to the wet weather in May, reports Manchester Evening News.

The potentially deadly larvae can survive in the slugs of snails for up to two weeks.

Dog owner Rachel Morris discovered the dangers of infection after her puppy, Bailey, fell victim to her and died just months after joining her family.

The tail of Aelurostrongylus abstrusus or cat lungworm under the microscope

Ms. Morris from Surrey said: “We have waited many years for a puppy and the lockdown meant that it was actually possible.

“We had never heard of lungworms. Bailey always played in the garden but we had never seen him eat snails before, but he liked to chew grass and unfortunately we now know that lungworms can even get away with licking a snail trail off grass, toys and / or bowls left outside. “

According to TeamDogs, puppies can also pick up the virus while they are rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, or drinking from outdoor puddles or water bowls, as the snails can leave deposits of lungworm larvae on their tracks.

Anne Nelson, the senior veterinarian who treated Bailey, said when he came to the office on Friday, May 14, he did not have the usual clinical symptoms related to lungworms, such as coughing, weight loss or behavior changes.

Puppies can ingest the virus while digging through undergrowth, eating grass, or drinking from outdoor puddles or water bowls

Image from a picture agency. Puppies can ingest the virus while digging through undergrowth, eating grass, or drinking from outdoor puddles or water bowls

The vet added, “Bailey was sent back to us the next day when we diagnosed a lungworm and referred him to a vital care specialist.

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, Bailey passed away the next day because the lungworm had become too severe for his body to recover.”

Experts warn that puppies are particularly at risk because of their curious nature.

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They also say that lungworm is much easier to prevent than it is to cure. This can be achieved by minimizing a dog’s exposure to snails.

Another way to be vigilant is to eat dog bowls outdoors at night as they provide a humid environment that attracts slugs, slugs, and their potentially dangerous slime.

Dr. Bryony Tolhurst, behavioral ecologist at the University of Brighton, said, “Snail slime can contain the infectious lungworm parasite that can cause disease in dogs.

Experts warn that puppies are particularly at risk because of their curious nature.  of lungworms

Experts warn that puppies are particularly at risk because of their curious nature

“Given the unusually humid weather the UK has experienced this year, snails are more active and lungworm larvae can survive in their mucus for up to two weeks, potentially exposing dogs to the parasite.”

According to a survey by Elanco Animal Health, 42% of dog owners don’t even know what lungworm is or how it can infect their pets.

Elanco Animal Health has launched a national campaign called Open Your Eyes to Deadly Lungworms and an online map that pet owners can use to see how many cases are within 50 miles of their zip code.

That year, 2,871 cases were recorded across the country

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