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View Full Version : Lungworm - the danger of eating slugs and snails



George19
9th March 2007, 07:40 PM
I'd like to alert you all to the reason why my 7 month old CKCS pup died in January. I can now bring myself to discuss it here, however, this account, written by a lady who's pup also died explains things as well as I can (I've told my story so many times I can't face doing it again) http://www.k9centre.co.uk/heartworm.php?PHPSESSID=f61c8b3a90605a417f6696f8bc e982f9

The difference with my George is that he died under anaesthetic as they operated to find out what was wrong with him....in other words they missed the diagnosis, actually my vets didn't do a single thing right.

I've copied the below from another forum I've posted in:

Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum)
It is seen a lot in young dogs as they are more vulnerable. The symptoms are:

cough
exercise intolerence
bleeding tendency i.e blood in stools or vomit, coughing up blood
panting/heavy breathing
loss of appetite
weight loss
vomiting
diarrhoea

You may just notice the occasional cough to begin with, its so easy to miss. It usually starts with the cough, I noticed it when George was playing, after a few seconds he needed to stop to cough, he then bled in his stools and coughed up blood, he lost a lot of weight and wouldn't eat.

Cavaliers are the most common breed to present at the vets with Lungworm (I think they are more fond of slugs and snails). The type of Lungworm carried by slugs/snails is Angiostrongylus Vasorum, there are other types. I think Milbemax is the only licensed wormer for this species although some vets use Panacur but at a treament dose not the routine dose and it is given for a long period (the routine dose really harmed little George). The use of Panacur is 'off label' which means the comapny making it make no claims that it works but the vets find it does. My advice is always check with your vet before you worm your pup/dog.

Be aware that some vets are treating the tummy/cough symptoms with antiobiotics and the dogs seem to improve (this happened with George and the vet had suggested worming him, I did this when I felt he was better but it made him a lot worse). My vets still didn't realise and eventually anaesthetised him after worrying x-rays, of course he never came through the anaesthetic. The lungworm was found as autopsy. Some dogs die just because of the bleeding, the bleed can happen in the brain, eye etc.

This link explains another cav owners experience. http://www.k9centre.co.uk/heartworm....96f8bc e982f9

I spoke to this lady, her vet missed it too, it's such a waste

Incidentally the most commonest areas it is seen is Swansea, Surrey, Cornwall and parts of Ireland but it is being seen all over.

Sorry to go on guys but I really would hate anyone else to have this happen.

arasara
9th March 2007, 07:45 PM
OH My Goodness.. :hug: :hug: :hug:

I am so sorry to hear that. What a devastating ordeal and to not know until it's too late.. I am so sorry :cry*ing:

I hope you find solace in comfort knowing that George is no longer in pain or suffering and is watching over everything you do. Should you decide to get another puppy, I am sure George will help he or she right along.

Thank you for sharing that health information. Are there any preventatives to lung worm? We have to worry about heart worm up here in Canada and the flea repellant I put my crew on has a mosquitoe repellant as well.

Natalie
9th March 2007, 07:48 PM
i am so sorry for your loss i will have to make sure we watch lady like a hawk when she goes out into the garden we have loads of slugs. Lady is wormed with Milbemax wormer is that correct that this will protect her from lungworms.

Natalie
9th March 2007, 07:51 PM
We have to worry about heart worm up here in Canada and the flea repellant I put my crew on has a mosquitoe repellant as well.
I didn't even think of that poor doggies been but bit by mosquitoe's they drive me mad when were on holiday.

George19
9th March 2007, 07:53 PM
Thanks Sara, it has been a very sad time.

The only real prevention is vigilance to make sure pups don't eat slugs which is so hard to do. Milbemax is supposed to be effective but I really strongly advise owners who know they have a slug eating Cav to talk to their vet about a worming regime and talk to the vet about this species of Lungworm and how it is transmitted (I am surprised at how much incorrect info my vet gave me. I think they learned a valuable lesson too).

I just hope this helps someone somewhere :xfngr:

arasara
9th March 2007, 08:00 PM
We have to worry about heart worm up here in Canada and the flea repellant I put my crew on has a mosquitoe repellant as well.
I didn't even think of that poor doggies been but bit by mosquitoe's they drive me mad when were on holiday.

Mosquitos carry heart worm up here. In some flea medications there is a heart worm preventative. Sorry that's what I meant to say.. I don't think it's in every part of the country, but I know up here heart worm protection is strongly advised by my vets.

I'm going to have to ask about the prevalance of lung worm next time I am in at the vets. I had no idea that dogs were succeptible to this too. Man there is hookworm, whipworm, round worm, tape worm, heart worm and now lung worm? I am sure there are more but wow - that's a lot of different types of worms to worry about! :yikes

George19
9th March 2007, 08:04 PM
I'm not sure about the prevalence outside Europe Sara but it's worth asking.

Thanks for taking notice, I feel like I'm bashing my head against a wall sometimes. I tell people I know and I can see them thinking 'won't happen to me' :sl*p:

arasara
9th March 2007, 08:08 PM
George,

Although it's totally unrelated to lungworm, we just about lost 2 dogs from salmon sickness when I was a teenager. That put me on high alert for any potential sickness that my dogs can get. That was such an awful experience for us - we got really really lucky because we caught it and got it treated quickly.

Are you considering getting another little furry friend to keep you company in the near future? :flwr:

George19
9th March 2007, 08:21 PM
Crikey I have never heard of salmon sickness :?

I have been to visit a litter recently so hopefully I will try again with another pup soon. I don't think I could face much longer without a Cavalier cuddle. I hope George doesn't mind :( he was just perfect and a lot to live up to :l*v:

Kodee
9th March 2007, 08:30 PM
Thanks Sara, it has been a very sad time.

The only real prevention is vigilance to make sure pups don't eat slugs which is so hard to do. Milbemax is supposed to be effective but I really strongly advise owners who know they have a slug eating Cav to talk to their vet about a worming regime and talk to the vet about this species of Lungworm and how it is transmitted (I am surprised at how much incorrect info my vet gave me. I think they learned a valuable lesson too).

I just hope this helps someone somewhere :xfngr:

First, it would be really hard for me to talk about something like that when it was over. So I think we all owe you thanks for bringing this to our attention - me especially. Our backyard swims - I mean its really a glow with slugs on all our flowers and our front walk is often covered in snails. There is no way to avoid them here - no other house I have lived in had it this bad.

With that in mind, are you saying one can be proactive and specifically giving worm medicene (like heartworm) on a regular basis for this? I have an appointment in 2 wks for Kodee's 3 rd set of shots and will definately print this out! I cant thank you enough. Funny now that the snow has melted in spots, Kodee keeps going nuts digging and eating the dirt - I have to wonder now what she is up to?

arasara
9th March 2007, 08:33 PM
http://www.moscowfood.coop/archive/fish_dogs.html

There's a link to what salmon sickness is and what it does. We were lucky. My dog got out of the fence and went fishing :sl*p: Stuff like that happens when you live in a big country and unfortunately we had a river running right behind our house :?

George was just absolutely beautiful. :) I am sure he wouldn't mind if you got another cavalier - as a matter of fact he would probably embrace it. I am sure he hates to see his family suffering. I am glad you're going to consider another Cavalier. I think I would lose my mind without having at least one icon_whistling What color are you considering? :flwr:

George19
9th March 2007, 08:39 PM
Hi Kodee

I kinda feel compelled to spread awareness otherwise I feel my baby died completely in vain. If some good can come of it then I have to make sure it does for him.

I believe it may be a problem in Canada/America as well as Europe
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=12497965&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=15264484&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

Kodee, I have some good papers on this but copyright means I can't post them here. I can email you them if you want to take them to the vet.

George19
9th March 2007, 08:42 PM
Black and tan again Sara - I'm smitten with them!

Kodee
9th March 2007, 08:47 PM
Hi Kodee

I kinda feel compelled to spread awareness otherwise I feel my baby died completely in vain. If some good can come of it then I have to make sure it does for him.

I believe it may be a problem in Canada/America as well as Europe
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=12497965&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=15264484&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

Kodee, I have some good papers on this but copyright means I can't post them here. I can email you them if you want to take them to the vet.

Thanks - I was just reading an article that said on autopy of dogs that died with the symptom of cough in Newfoundland, 25% were found to have lungworm! That is a huge percentage! It appears to be there and in some parts of Western Canada as well. Definately with spring coming I will be talking to my vet in a few wks. Amazing I never knew this - our lab used to go "slug" digging in the backyard all the time. We only let her out a bit a night during the summer quickly as even the lawn was crawling. The problem with slugs is they are next to impossible to get rid of. Any poisions cant be used with a dog either. My vet is involved in Guelph University studies frequently so she should be able to give me good advice and get stats on this area specifically. If she is unfamilar, I will send you my email - thank you so much for the offer and this great post. I hope things improve for you and you consider another pet sometime - as they bring so much to our lives!

Edit: Whoot! I just saw your reply to Sara! How nice for you. Sara knows black/tans are my favourite cav! I love kodee and think she is perfect and wouldnt trade her for the world - but that doesnt mean I cant still think black and tans are the best looking! Love them that is why I tell my husband, Kodee needs a brother..... :sl*p:

George19
9th March 2007, 08:54 PM
Go for it, Kodee is beautiful, she and a little brother would make an awesome sight :flwr:

Cathy T
9th March 2007, 09:17 PM
Lisa - thank you so much for finding it in your heart to post about your George!! I think you are right that your tragedy can hopefully prevent someone else from having to go through this.

I think George would think it's wonderful that you feel able to open your heart to another dog. He knows he won't be replaced and I'm sure he wouldn't want you to be sad anymore.

Thanks again from finding the ability to tell us your story.

Barrster
9th March 2007, 09:34 PM
I would like to add about Salmon sickness since its very common in our area.

Only after the salmon have left the ocean for fresh water are they at risk for transmitting sickness.

Also, trout and steelhead can equally infect your dog.

Your dog doesnt have to actually eat the infected fish,
they can just lick them and still become infected.

Geographically, only fish from the Pacific Northwest--Alaska; California; Oregon; Idaho; Washington; and Vancouver Island, Canada--are potential sources of salmon poisoning.

Denise G.
9th March 2007, 10:25 PM
Oh, Lisa--I'm so sorry to hear about little George. Thank you so much posting your story. :flwr: I have lots of slugs in my garden during the spring/summer. Now I'm motivated to do something about it.

Here's a link that explains a few non-toxic methods of getting rid of slugs:

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Garden-Slugs

I'm glad you're going to get another baby soon. I'm sure George would approve! :)

Shay
9th March 2007, 10:29 PM
You are so kind to post this information for us, which I know must have been difficult. I have never heard of lung worms, but we have to give our dogs here in the south USA, and I guess everywhere here where there is a mosquito problem, a monthly tablet for prevention. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Rest in peace little Georgie *ng*l

Nancy
9th March 2007, 10:37 PM
I wonder how common this is in the US, I've only heard about this from people abroad. I have a ton of slugs, I've even brushed some from the dog fur. I don't think they try to eat them, but who knows what they do when I'm not watching them like a hawk. The puppy loves to munch on twigs so it's possible one could be lurking there. I'm going to be a nervous wreck all spring and summer now. No more hostas here...slugs love them.

Denise G.
9th March 2007, 11:03 PM
Good point, Nancy--I planted quite a few hostas last spring and they barely made it through summer because of the slugs.

Kodee
10th March 2007, 01:07 AM
Hi Lisa....I have been wonderig how George was doing since you first posted about his cough. I am just heartsick to hear this news. You are so kind to post this information for us, which I know must have been difficult. I have never heard of lung worms, but we have to give our dogs here in the south USA, and I guess everywhere here where there is a mosquito problem, a monthly tablet for prevention. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Rest in peace little Georgie *ng*lI havent been around Cavalier Talk that long, I am so sorry. I was under the impression this happened way in the past. I lost our lab this fall at 15 and it is hard. A new dog for me didnt replace Jessie, but it did provide the opportunity to enjoy a dog again. Give it time.

Cathy Moon
10th March 2007, 02:28 AM
Lisa, how heartbreaking. :( I'm so sorry this happened to you. :cry*ing:

Thank you so much for posting about this; you never know how many will be helped by the information! :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

merlinsmum
10th March 2007, 03:00 PM
Lisa,

I'm glad to see that you found the courage to post about George, your heart is slowly healing from you tragic loss.

Your post will make a lot of people aware about slugs..... I knew there was a reason why I liked to pour salt on them and watch them shrivel. The next one will be for George..

I'm sure George would love to see you happy again and a little bt bundle will do just that. Did you find the breeder from the info I gave you?

George19
10th March 2007, 07:24 PM
Kirsty, I managed to find a lovely breeder near my mom in the Midlands. I have been able to visit a couple of times and stay over at my parents.

Thanks for the great tips on getting rid of slugs Denise. Little George will have given them something to work with so a new pup will be even more at risk now :(

And thanks everyone, it means a lot that you've taken it seriously :flwr:

Caraline
11th March 2007, 01:30 AM
That is horrible! I'd never even heard of lungworm before today.

Joanne M
13th March 2007, 08:01 PM
Lisa thank you for sharing George's story with us. I've not heard of any snails or slugs in my area. But, I'll ask around. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Barbara Nixon
13th March 2007, 08:25 PM
Tragically, another cavalier puppy, 8 months old and belonging to a lady on another list, died this morning, from lungworm. She was only taken ill last night, when she vomitted blood.

This was in Surrey. I had thought that this was only a problem in other countries, though I had heard of heartworm in Wales , among other places.

Mom_of_2_Cavies
13th March 2007, 09:27 PM
How sad to hear about yet another one from this same thing. :(

Thank you for posting about your George, Lisa. I had never heard of lungworm before. Here in New England we worry about heartworm, and we give Interceptor once a month because it also covers whipworm (prevalent in the dirt here in New England, apparently). I will be extra vigilant about slugs and snails in the future. We don't have lots in our yard, thankfully, but both of our Cavs will scarf up all kinds of things before you even blink an eye.

I do hope that you will soon get a new puppy--there's nothing like it to mend a broken heart after a loss. We lost our dear little Lhasa in the summer of '05, and then--very happily for us--discovered Cavaliers, and now have two. I have to say that I just love B&T's--we came ~this close~ to picking one (he would have been my first choice at that point but my husband and son were also voting).

Best wishes to you. :flwr:

George19
13th March 2007, 10:00 PM
I'm so saddened to hear of another puppy dying of this. I can't believe vets don't have big posters up in their waiting rooms warning us of the dangers of slugs, snails and lungworm, I knew George had eaten them, I even looked it up on the internet but like many of you guys I kept reading that it wasn't in the UK. If I had seen a poster in the vets with a couple of the symptoms on it I would have had him there like a shotand I know I would have put 2 and 2 together. These hotspots really do exist in Wales, Surrey and Cornwall and it only takes an affected dog to go on holiday somewhere else in the country and it is spread even further. Please guys, mention this to your cav owning friends, Cavaliers are the most common breed to become infected with this and they are such a delicate breed they are so vulnerable to it's effects. Maybe even suggest to your vets they pop a poster up.

George19
28th March 2007, 07:43 PM
Bumping this up, don't want the newcomers to miss the symptoms :flwr:

tomaarash
28th March 2007, 11:51 PM
thankyou so much for posting about this,I never knew anything about this before,I will certainly be aware of this from now on,so sorry that you lost your precious pet through this though :( :( :(

cavvycrazy
10th April 2007, 06:11 PM
I just read your alert and Iam so glad I did. my 2YEAR OLD cavvy charlie is constantly nibbleing on slugs and trying to get at the snails I had no idea of the dangers involved with this.I will certainly be more vigilant now.
THANKYOU for informing us about this and I Know only to well how an incompetent vet can break your heart. take care

momay
10th April 2007, 10:14 PM
Thank you George for sharing your tragedy, I am so very sorry for your loss, and can't imagine it happening.
Our Cav, Sofee Marie contracted lungworm a few months ago. We live in New England, just North of Boston, MA. My vet told me it was transmitted from eating feces of fox/rabbit/deer, such as when the dog eats grass, or the constant eating of woodchips that Sofee loves so much.
We were prescribed Panacur and it worked. Her stool sample last month was clear and it never progressed past the coughing stage. Luckily the vet caught it in a routine puppy fecal sample test. I thought she was just choking from playing too much at night, I didn't realize it was actually coughing.
So, it can happen in areas other than England and I've yet to see a slug in our area.
Take care

George19
11th April 2007, 08:45 PM
Yep, fox faeces is part of the life cycle, I have the woods at the end of my cul-de-sac and I often see foxes. Possibly there are tiny slugs in those wood chips or on the grass but so glad you caught it early Momay, I know it took me a while to realise George was coughing, I just thought he was getting over excited and clearing his throat but still he was bleeding/panting etc as well so that should have alerted the vet.

Cavvycrazy, please mention to the vet that your Cav is eating slugs as he might already be infected. The vet 'should' know the risk in your area (mine didn't) and a simple course of Panacur will make sure he's ok (it won't do him any harm even if he's not infected) if it's not caught early it can cause a sudden death sometimes without even the cough appearing so better safe than sorry. I have read reports of it being in Birmingham so it's not a huge leap up to you.

A routine puppy faecal test is such a good idea, we don't have that.

So glad to hear George's passing is doing some good, thanks for posting guys