Warning to Milton Keynes dog owners after outbreak of deadly lungworm infection

Several hundred cases of a parasite which can kill dogs have been reported in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.

According to an interactive map by pharmaceutical firm Bayer, there have been a total of 748 reported lungworm cases within a 50-mile radius of Milton Keynes.

Stock photo

Stock photo

And 29 of those cases were reported in Milton Keynes itself.

Lungworm infections lead to serious health problems for dogs, and can even kill them if left untreated.

A spokesman from Vets4Pets said: "Sadly, dogs with severe lungworm infections can become very ill in fact, nine per cent of infected dogs will die."

The main carriers of the parasite are slugs and snails found in abundance in the outdoors.

When dogs become infected, the worm can damage their heart and blood vessels.

The most common symptoms of lungworm infection are:

- Coughing

- Changes in breathing or struggling to breathe

- Going off food

- Upset tummy with vomiting and/or diarrhoea

- Loss of weight

- Unexplained or excessive bruising

- Pale gums

- Bleeding

If your dog is experiencing any of these signs you should make an appointment with your local Vets4Pets as soon as possible.

Prevention:

Make sure you bring your dog's toys and water bowls inside at night to prevent as much contact with snails and slugs as possible.

When you are walking your dog, try and stop them picking up sticks in the park, as they may also have come into contact with the slime from infected slugs and snails.