Thursday, May 20, 2010

When is a cough not just a cough? .

...When a Cough is more than just a Cough.

Climate change.Some of us are sick hearing about it.A growing number of sceptics are beginning to ask just what's all the fuss about. God knows we could do with a bit of global warming around these parts, since the ash cloud wont let us leave the island anyway. Eco-sceptics you could call these people(did I just make up that word?) who couldn't care less about the polar bears, the icebergs or the ozone layer. To these people however, I have two words of news today.
Angiostrongylus Vasorum.

Scientists love words of Latin mystery. Their own secret code to confuse the punters. The real mystery however is Nature. Just when Vets like me think we have the job sussed, Nature moves the goal posts. Or as in this case, moves the Climate. Angiostrongylus is what you and I can call Dog Lungworm. And it's here. It usedn't to be in Ireland , but it's here now.

Angiostrongylus was once known as French Heartworm and was confined to warmer regions. One more thing the French have given us;Sarkozy, Dog Lungworms and Thierry Henri (quel horreur!).This Lungworm which is carried by the Slugs and Snails in our gardens is now infecting greater numbers of Irish Dogs because wetter and warmer Summers have seen a massive recent rise in the Slug, Snail and Frog populations in Ireland.

French Heartworm which we now call Dog Lungworm has spread to Britain and Ireland as global warming has brought warmer weather allowing the Angiostrongylus Worm to survive further north. More Slugs, Snails and Frogs now carry the Lungworm and increasing numbers of dogs in Tallaght, Leixlip, Lucan , Wexford and Kildare have been reported by Vets to be infected with this sometimes fatal parasite.

So how do dogs become infected? Tell tale slimy Slug and Snail mucus trails which you find at this time of year on garden paths, on the dog's toys and feedbowls are full of Lungworm Larvae. Dogs are curious rummaging scavengers. Your lovable mutt with the palate and appetite of Homer Simpson may ingest Frogs, Snails, Slugs or even their mucus trail to become infected with Larvae which migrate through blood vessels to the Lungs where damage occurs.

YOU are not at risk from Dog Lungworm but your dog unfortunately is. Infected dogs can suffer fatal Lung Bleeding, Pneumonia, Anaemia and other clinical disorders. Infection begins with a cough, breathlessness or fatigue. Vets may then observe blood clotting anomalies and/or Anaemia.Severe cases can progess to signs of vomitting, seizures or diarrhoea. The good news is that this modern problem has a very modern prevention and cure.

A simple spot-on remedy which your Vet can prescribe will deal with infection. Importantly the same spot-on is recommended monthly by Vets like myself as prevention against not only Lungworm but also fleas, Lice, ear Mites and other creepy nasties. Advocate from Bayer, for example, is licensed to give just this peace of mind to dog owners. Vets all agree that prevention is safer than cure. If Angiostrongylus Vasorum are two words too many, then one word Advocate is enough. Just ask your Vet.
Des Groome,
Groome PetVets,
South Green road,

1 comment:

  1. Is it safe to use Advocate for the prevention of lungworm in Rough Collies with the MDR1 gene?