Lungworm Is Closer Than You Might Think - Know The Symptoms?


 
Act Against Lungworm
We know that for all of you dog owners out there, our health is one of your top priorities. We were really pleased when we were asked to help raise awareness around lungworm as we knew our hoomans didn’t actually know that much about it. They knew that helping raise awareness, would in turn increase their knowledge about it too, which ultimately would keep us safe! Before you read ahead, would you be able to educate someone about lungworm? If not, hopefully after reading this, you’ll be able to go and spread the word to someone else and educate them! No dog owner should feel stupid that they don’t know much about lungworm, as in reality, there hasn’t been that much exposure around it. That’s exactly what this campaign is all about and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!

First of all, let us tell you a little about how exciting our day was. We were asked to attend an event in Streatham, London. This meant it was time for a road trip and we couldn’t wait to get in the car. Luckily, being Surrey pups, the journey wasn’t going to be too long. We knew that other doggy friends had also been invited to this event and we were looking forward to making some new friends. When we arrived at the location in Streatham, we saw two ladies walking with their pooches down the road. We were sure we recognised them from Instagram, but we weren’t close enough to say hello. We got to the front door and our hoomans gave it a knock. The door opened and we gave the kind man, who answered it, a swift greeting and headed off inside… Well, you can’t blame us, we didn’t have time for pleasantries, we had to get inside and find out what all the fuss was about!

There were many people inside and a few new doggy faces already playing happily in the garden. To make sure EVERYONE knew we had arrived, we kept barking – you’ve got to arrive in style, so they say… It was all very exciting and we headed outside to allow our hoomans to speak with other doggy owners, whilst we started to make friends. We instantly noticed that there were a couple of other sausages in the group, so in true dachshund style, we made friends with them first. There was a really cute Whippet called Blue, who we also took a liking to. Then, we noticed the ladies that had been walking down the road and instantly recognised them as Spaniellife and Alfie Bear! In total there were around 11 dogs and we all got on super well.


We could tell our hoomans were also excited too as they had been told that someone called Ben Fogle was going to be participating in the event. We didn’t know who he was, but in the car, all we kept hearing was ‘animal park’ and ‘new lives in the wild’, so we knew he must have been quite important! Once everyone had mingled and got to know each other a little, Ben Fogle came over to introduce himself to everyone and also say hello to us! From what our hoomans told us, Ben Fogle loves animals and also has his own dog called Storm! He loves being outdoors and often goes on beautiful walks around the UK. We thought he was perfect to be helping raise awareness around something like lungworm. Everyone settled and took a seat around a table. It was great, we were able to sit up on our hoomans laps and they were able to have a few pastries that had been laid out, yum yum. There was a vet called Luke that had joined us who had come to talk with us about lungworm.


Luke started to tell us all exactly how lungworm can be transmitted. Slugs and snails are the main culprits, carrying the parasite. We knew a little about this already, but what we didn’t know, was that the parasite can also live in the slime trails left behind by the slugs and snails. There are many ways that the infection can be transmitted. Although we can’t talk for all dogs, we know that some of our friends like to get up to mischief. We know we can’t be watched 24/7 either! The infection is transmitted when us dogs, either accidentally or deliberately, eat slugs or snails, or possibly even ingest the slime they leave behind (did you know the larvae can live in the slime for up to 15 days!) Let us give you a couple of examples of ways dogs can ingest the parasite. We all like to have a good rummage around in the garden/park, in the undergrowth, in the flower beds, you name it, we go there. Just think of how many snails and slugs may have come into contact with that? Also, when we drink from puddles or outdoor water bowls, those too could have been contaminated by slugs or snails. One thing that we certainly didn’t think about was that sometimes we leave our toys out in the garden… Gardens and parks are playgrounds for snails and slugs, so they could have easily climbed over our toys which we had left out, hiding within them or leaving their slime all over them. Now, we aren’t saying that these scenarios happen all the time, but it’s something that our owners need to be more conscious about.


Now, if a dog was to catch this sort of infection, there are a few symptoms to look out for. Normally, the types of symptoms would be unusual behaviour, coughing and also things such as if you were to cut our nails and it started to bleed, if it took longer than normal for the blood to clot and small things would set the bleeding off again, it would be a call for concern. A lot of the time, these symptoms could result in something completely different, but just like we know our hoomans would do, speak to your vet, as they would be able to diagnose the symptoms. Vets can take blood samples and poo samples, which give them a good indication if we had contracted the infection. Without prevention, the infection can be fatal!

Now, the good part! It is possible to treat a dog, who has been infected by lungworm, to make a full recovery. It is also very easy to prevent lungworm in the first place! Our hoomans didn’t know this, but monthly prevention products will prevent against it. These are things like flea/parasite/worming protection, which they put on the back of our necks for example, or certain tablets. Some parasite products don’t prevent against lungworm so it is important that people speak with their vets about the right treatment.


Luckily we had Luke the vet there, so our hoomans were able to ask lots of questions. Once everyone had finished speaking with Luke, it was time for some more fun! We now heard everyone talking about a walk and all the dogs were getting very excited. Ben Fogle was going to take us all on a walk around Streatham Common, which was one of his favourite walks. We headed out. It was quite a sight seeing 11 dogs walking together with bright orange bandanas on. We also found it quite funny that we were joined on a walk by some snails! Don’t worry, they weren’t put on leads, they were kept in a container that the organisers had rented from a snail farm! (Did you know there are over 25 types of different snails?). The common was lovely! Everyone was getting on really well and we were able to discuss more on our thoughts about lungworm. We got to the top of the hill and we were told we had been granted access to the rockery, which was absolutely stunning. We were able to stop and take a few photos and also take a few snaps with Ben and Luke (who quite clearly enjoyed all of us climbing all over them). At this stage, we had all gathered a bit of a crowd, we definitely felt like mini celebrities! After we had admired the rockery, it was time to head back.


We got back to the house to have some more pictures taken and ask some more questions to Ben and Luke. We were having so much fun and all doing it to raise awareness for a great cause. Although, it was time to go, we felt that we had really learnt a lot and were able to go back and tell everyone what we knew about lungworm and the importance of preventing against it! Don’t get us wrong, we don’t have anything against snails or slugs, but we need to be careful around them. As long as we are protected, we can all live in peace! We hope that everyone reading this has learnt at least one thing new about the threat of lungworm. Although we are not experts, there are many more ways that people can learn about it. Why not head over to www.lungworm.co.uk to find out more! If anyone ever has any questions, they can also ask their vet about treatment and prevention.


Thanks again for reading


Jacob & Bruno



This post is sponsored by Bayer, in support of their ACT Against Lungworm campaign. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.




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