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Warning to pet owners after dog narrowly escapes death after ingesting a slug

Lungworm and a beagle dog-serious
© Blue Cross Victoria - Facebook

An animal charity is urging dog owners to be extra vigilant when their pet is outdoors after a Beagle almost died from ingesting a parasite in the garden.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 21/09/2020, 18:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:25

Slugs aren't just bad for the garden, but they can also be deadly to your dog if swallowed, something that one dog owner knows all too well. Jessie, a lovely four-year-old Beagle, was rushed to the Blue Cross animal hospital in London after she suddenly collapsed at her home.

Seriously ill

Her owners had no idea what had caused Jessie to become so gravely ill, but it was clear that things were not looking good for her. After a series of tests, the vets discovered that Jessie had lungworm, which can quickly become deadly to a dog.

It's caused by a parasite that lives on snails, slugs, frogs or grass. Even consuming a tiny slug can lead to lungworm larvae growing in the dog. It can then travel to their heart and blood vessels and cause heart and breathing problems. Your dog may start coughing, become lethargic, have bleeding or unusual blood clots.

Protect your canine companions

While you should always keep an eye on your dog when they are outside, you can also help to prevent lungworm by washing your dog's outside toys and water bowls and giving them regular worming treatment.

In Jessie's case, the vets knew that the only way to save her was to act fast. So they immediately started her on a course of treatment. After several days of round the clock care, Jessie made a full recovery.

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