Millions of dog owners unaware of deadly dog disease

Dogs can come across slugs and snails in the park
Dogs can come across slugs and snails in the park
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MILLIONS of dog owners are unaware of a deadly disease spreading across the UK, according to new research.

While half of dog owners are aware of lungworm, 39 per cent admitted they didn’t know exactly what it is while 10 per cent were unaware of lungworm entirely.

Thousands of cases of the potentially fatal disease have been reported across the UK, with a fifth of dog owners saying their own dog has had lungworm.

Lungworm is a parasite that can be deadly to dogs if ingested. It uses multiple animals to help complete its lifecycle, with dogs and foxes as the primary hosts. It can also be passed on through slugs, snails and even frogs.

Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: ‘The risk of dogs coming into contact with these infected molluscs is high, as it is believed that the average British garden contains over 20,000 slugs and snails. 

‘The larvae which are released in the slime can survive for at least 15 days.

‘It is crucial owners don’t leave their dog’s toys or water bowls outside overnight, or let them pick up sticks in the park, as these could all have been exposed to slug or snail slime.’