Does your dog eat fox poo? A UK study showed that 68% * of foxes are infected with fox hookworm and dogs are at risk of contracting this via eating their faeces.
How will Hookworm affect my dog?
Symptoms of intestinal infection may include:
And what is Lungworm?
This worm infects the arteries around the heart and the heart itself. It is a very serious disease and can potentially kill dogs. The fox is the reservoir for domestic dogs.
Dogs acquire the infection from ingestion of worm larvae present in slugs and snails that have fed on faeces of infected foxes or other dogs. These larvae migrate from the intestine of the dog to the blood vessels in and around the heart.
The mature worms lay eggs that are coughed up and swallowed to pass out in the faeces.
Symptoms include gradual onset of heart or lung disease, a chronic cough, anaemia, poor blood clotting and weight loss. Sudden death due to blood loss during routine surgery has been known.
A different species of lungworm does occur in cats but does not lead to the serious clinical illness as in dogs.
Pick up the poo
The poo of a dog infected with lungworm will help spread the parasite to other slugs and snails, where it will develop. If two or more dogs share the same environment and one is found to be infected, the others may be at high risk due to exposure to the same surroundings.
Foxes can also become infected with lungworm, and their increasing numbers have been implicated in the spread.
Regularly clean water bowls
Studies show that slugs thrive in damp conditions and will seek out any source of moisture they can. This makes a dog’s water bowl left outside an ideal target for slugs and snails.
Make sure you change your dog’s water regularly, especially if the bowl sits outdoors. Also pick up your pet’s toys of they are left outdoors as the trail from slugs or snails over their toys that they then play with can also be a vector for Lungworm transmission.
Speak to us about the products available to prevent your dog become infected.
* Richards, D.T.,Harris S., Lewis, J.W., Parasitology (1995) 59(1) 39-51. Epidemiological studies on intestinal helminth parasites of rural and urban red foxes in the UK.
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