Lungworm is a relatively common parasite that can get into the respiratory tract of an animal and cause serious problems, such as trouble breathing, lung irritation, and general pain and discomfort in the chest. Dogs are unfortunately a common host to this parasite. If lungworm in a dog goes untreated, the results can be catastrophic, which is why it is important to know how to recognize and quickly respond to symptoms of this parasite.
Detecting Lungworm in Dogs
The most common symptom noticed in dogs that are suffering from lungworm is that of wheezing or coughing. If your dog has been breathing heavily and the breathing sounds abnormal, or if you can hear your dog wheezing, then this could be a sign of lungworm. Furthermore, if this symptom is coupled with general exhaustion or fatigue, this is typically a good indicator of the parasite. In order to receive an official diagnosis, you will need to take your dog to the vet for an examination as soon as possible. Be sure to make your veterinarian aware of the symptoms your dog is experiencing.
Treating Lungworm in Dogs
If it is determined that your dog is suffering from lungworm, then your vet should be able to come up with a plan of action to combat the parasite. Typically, this includes giving your dog a deworming medication for a couple of weeks until the symptoms are gone. It is possible that the dog may need to be kept at the vet until it is known for certain that the parasite is gone. This is especially true if you have other pets in the home, as it is easy for dogs to spread lungworm to other animals by contact alone.
Prior to bringing your pet home, you should take the time to wash and clean all of his or her bedding, toys, and other objects that he or she frequently comes into contact with. This will reduce the chances of contracting lungworm in dogs again. Furthermore, it is likely that your dog will still need to finish up his or her medication after being brought home, so you will need to keep a close eye on your dog to ensure that he or she does not suffer from any adverse side effects from the drugs.
If all goes according to plan, your dog can be cured of lungworm in a matter of a couple weeks.