LUNGWORM hotspots in and around Cumbria have been revealed.

An interactive map, by my pet and i, shows that a total of 17 cases have been identified within a 50 mile radius of Carlisle.

Lungworm is contracted when your dog accidentally or deliberately ingests slugs or snails (or potentially even their slime) whilst rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or picking them up from their toys. 

And as a result, it can affect a dog’s lungs, cause coughing, the animal to lose weight and other signs that would show a dog is looking ill.

Traditionally, lungworm was a disease that worried more so the south of England and areas of Wales, however, recent studies have shown that an increasing number of cases have been reported within Northern England and Scotland.

After the damp weather we’ve experienced throughout the year, experts believe it has caused an explosion of slug and snail activity, hence the outbreak. 

News and Star: Hotspot areas. Credit: mypetandiHotspot areas. Credit: mypetandi

The map shows that there have been two cases of reported the disease within Penrith, two in Appleby-in-Westmorland, one in Windermere, one in Dumfries, six in Moffat, three in Ulverston and a further two near Durham.

Sam Christie, a vet from Coomara Veterinary Practice which is based just outside of Carlisle, said: “We tend not to see that much of it because people are usually quite good when it comes to worming their pets. But what to look out for is a soft cough and a hacking coming from your pet.

"It’s a horrible lifecycle that migrates to the lungs from the digestive system and often you’ll see your pet lose quite a lot of weight because of the parasite.

Mr Christie said the infection is particularly disastrous to younger and older dogs.  

“You would probably notice your dog would have that cough and they wouldn’t be as interested in going out for works as much, any signs of coughing and lethargy is a sign to look out for to get straight to the vets,” he said.

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