A series of new studies have revealed “significant details” on the prevalence, geographical spread and infection pathway of the potentially fatal parasite, Angiostrongylus vasorum.
The south-east is reported to have the highest prevalence, with 50% of foxes found to be infected with the parasite (more than double the previous figure). Even in Northern UK (North of England and Scotland) 7.4% of foxes were found to be infected, despite none being found in this region in the earlier study.
The parasite was found in 6.7% of slugs and snails tested in the Glasgow area. The highest prevalence was 11% in a public park in Glasgow where the first confirmed case of A vasorum was reported in 2009. Positive specimens were also found in surrounding parts of this area in which lungworm was expected to be absent.
Donna Tomlinson, senior product manager at Bayer Animal Health, said; “This research shows lungworm is a growing threat to dogs in the UK, which is important for both vets and dog owners to know, because it can easily be prevented.
Identifying risk areas
“This map will help identify the key lungworm risk areas and so can be used as a warning system by vets and dog owners. Of course, the best advice a vet can give owners is to protect their dog against lungworm with an effective preventative treatment.”
- Vets can report confirmed cases of lungworm on Bayer’s interactive prevalence map.