Lungworm in Dogs | Prevention and Treatment


Lungworm in dogs, also recognized as angiostrongylus vasorum, is a somewhat new extension to the collection of world parasites harming our pets, and is, sadly, the most dangerous parasitic warning to the well-being of dogs in the world, as TECHNOVETS explains.

Are Lungworm and heartworm the same?

Lungworm is also called French heartworm. This parasite can be identified either as lungworm disease or French Heartworm. The adult worms exist within the pulmonary artery and right ventricle of the heart of the dog.
Lungworm in dogs

Lungworm in dogs

The worm affects dogs and foxes when they consume snails and other gastropods contaminated with larvae of angiostrongylus vasorum (also referred to as A. vasorum).

Larvae can also be ingested from when dogs take puddle water, chew grass or engage with toys left outside where slugs and snails have been on them. Angiostrongylus vasorum managed to be somewhat confined to certain areas of the WORLD  nevertheless in current years it has converted very commonly in the South East as well, possibly due to an expanding urban fox community and wetter weather.

At our work, we have seen some distressing problems of lungworm recently and some of the cases were tragically lethal.

There is a licensed preventative approach for lungworm accessible on prescription so if you are worried then you should talk to your Vet.  This special parasite essentially affects dogs, nevertheless, it can seldom attack cats and cats have their own lungworm, however, it is light critical than the dog version.


Another type of lungworm called Capillaria aerophila that’s most usually located in the airways of foxes can also affect dogs. Dogs typically become affected by drinking water or consuming food that’s been infected with the worms’ eggs. These eggs typically hatch in the infected dog’s intestine ere the larvae get their move into the lungs, producing coughing, tenacious sneezing, and nasal discharge. It can take 40 days for the larvae to mature. Thankfully, therapy with antiparasitic remedy is normally sufficient.


After having been taken by the dog or fox in a snail or slug, the larvae move from the gut via the lymph nodes, liver, veins into the right side of the heart and eventually into the pulmonary artery and lungs.

The larvae then develop into adult worms in the lungs.  The larvae from these adult worms move into the airways and following the trachea, where they are choked up and swallowed in sputum. The larvae are then in the gut where they split the host in feces waiting to be consumed by slugs and snails and begin the method again.

Many snails behave as an intermediate host. Infective larvae grow here (L3). The fox is a real host of Angiostrongylus vasorum, but dogs can be affected too. Larvae (L3–L4–L5) transfer via the alimentary tract, abdominal lymph nodes, liver, venous system and right heart into the pulmonary artery. Mature Angiostrongylus vasorum in the pulmonary artery (top female, bottom male). Mature worms produce eggs that access the lung via the bloodstream. Tissue nodules consisting of cellular infiltrate packed with larvae and eggs form in the lung. Bronchiole  Arteriole. Larvae (L1) produce inside the eggs in the capillaries, hatch and jump into the alveolus. They are moved up the airway to the larynx and then swallowed. Larvae (L1) enter the soil through wastes.

As you can view from the life-cycle, the parasite has enough chance to create harm to the host’s body.

The lungs are the organs most seriously harmed by the parasite, and infected dogs exhibit critical pneumonia and habitually a cough.

How do I know if my dog has Lungworm?


In the easiest cases, signs are confined to the lungs, but this can make the dog seriously weakened anyway.  In more difficult cases dogs develop coagulation losses.

These are life-threatening and can generate immediate death.

Signs are comparable to those in dogs who have ingested rat poison.  Bleeding can occur in the abdomen, chest, central nervous system, gut, bladder and under the skin – pretty enough anywhere. Bleeding into the central nervous system can produce seizures and neurological difficulties which are not always changeable.

The levels of bleeding can be exciting and quickly deadly, particularly if the dog is bleeding externally through a small cut or into the abdomen or chest depressions.  The volume of bleeding that can occur through the smallest of wounds in the loss of normal clotting can be huge.  It is not completely known how the parasite causes difficulties with blood clotting.

Is lungworm in dogs contagious?

Although the condition cannot be directly carried from dog to dog, infected dogs still pretend a danger. The lungworm parasite will transfer into their feces in the form of larvae, exposing slugs, snails, and frogs in the area to the parasite, and putting more dogs at the chance of disease.

Can Lungworm kill dogs?

Lungworm can be deadly to dogs and is on the increase in the world, with thousands of problems and deaths being recorded.


Diagnosis of this distressing parasite is done on the foundation of clinical signs, the worming history of the patient, chest x-rays and analysis of specimens from the respiratory tract and feces.

Seldom more than one test is needed to detect these worms. If your Vet defendants that your dog may have lungworm, they will treat them for it anyway as treatment is simple and efficient and won’t conflict with any other medications or tests for other potential diagnoses.


There are various treatment choices for removing the lungworm parasite.

Treatment is directed at destroying the parasite but some dogs will need increased hospitalization, blood transfusions, oxygen therapy, and other supportive attention. Residual injury to the lungs can be continual. The values of diagnosis and treatment can soon rise up when treating this disease.

Most cases do better, particularly if they have signs confined to the lungs, it is the dogs with clotting disorders who are the tremendous danger, however with proper and timely veterinary intervention many of these dogs can be protected.

Does Panacur treat lungworm in dogs?
Panacur 10% Oral Suspension is useful against roundworms in dogs. Panacur Small Animal 10% Suspension is a broad-spectrum dewormer for the therapy of roundworms, tapeworms, and lungworms in dogs.


Not all wormers are active against angiostrongylus vasorum. There is one licensed preventative which is accessible on prescription from your VETERINARIAN.

This drug should be practiced routinely every month and is used as a spot-on on the back of the neck. It also eliminates fleas, flea larvae, intestinal roundworms, ear mites, scabies, and lice. We suggest that all dogs are managed with this drug every month as there have been cases of lungworm in dogs that have only been rarely approached with this medicine.

Milprazon a palatable broad spectrum wormer for the check and medicine of mixed diseases by immature and adult cestodes & nematodes. It can also be used for prevention against heartworm and lungworm.

Will drontal prevent Lungworm?
Drontal puppy wormer can be accepted from two weeks of age. It destroys roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms, and it’s accessible as a liquid.
Does Nexgard prevent Lungworm?
Merial has declared that Nexgard Spectra has now been authorized to stop lungworm in dogs, presenting it the only product which administers with lungworm and ticks.

how to prevent lungworm through deworming?

lungworm can be prevented by regular deworming treatments. Deworming medications usually come in the form of pills or spot-on and may achieve a range of parasites including lungworms. This will further prevent the extent of lungworm. Eliminating toys and bowls from the nursery overnight so they are not displayed to slugs and snails.

Can humans get Lungworm from dogs?
No, lungworm does not associate to affect humans. There are, although, other kinds of worms – roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms which can be transferred from pets to humans, so it’s important that even deworming should be done at least four times a year.
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