We have all heard of lungworm and it’s easy to dismiss as ‘uncommon’ until it strikes closer to home.
Max is a one year old Cockerpoo who we saw after about ten days of a hacking cough. Since the cough had started Max had been generally not himself, eating less, occasionally vomiting blood and passing very dark stools.
Max’s owners had been worming Max, but just with wormers from the local supermarket. When we saw Max he was very quiet with pale gums and he had lost a little weight.
Lungworm infections commonly cause coughing, clotting problems (bleeding that doesn’t stop as quickly as it should which would cause Max to have pale gums) and general signs of ill health (vomiting, depression, weight loss).
Our vet was very worried about Max, and recommended an immediate Lung Worm blood test as well as a more general blood test. The general blood test showed that Max was anaemic (had a low number of red blood cells) and the lung worm test was positive.
We started lung worm treatment and clotting treatment that day, with the plan for the owner to keep a very close eye on Max. Two days later Max was making a slow but steady improvement, and ten days later his red blood cell number had started to increase. The coughing stopped, his appetite improved to normal and Max returned to being the lively boy we know now!
When we first saw Max he was very poorly indeed. Lung worm really is a nasty infection and can make dogs very unwell until the dog can no longer cope with it and dies. Luckily it is treatable and even curable with Max making a good recovery.
Lungworm is a preventable infection, so we now recommend Max uses a lungworm treatment MONTHLY to prevent further disease. We have several lungworm treatments we recommend, so please do give us a call if you are worried about cover. As you have read, it is very important!