Once widely believed to have been limited to the south of England and Wales, lungworm has spread to all areas of the UK, including the north of England and Scotland. Dogs are one of the primary hosts of lungworm, a parasite which can be fatal to your furry friends if ingested. Here’s what you need to know about the recent spread of lungworm, and how best to protect your pooch from the pesky parasite.

Affected Areas

This year, over 1,600 cases of lungworm have been reported within a 50-mile radius of London. Other areas in the south of the UK have also been affected, like Dorset and Milton Keynes. It’s spread further north, too. Almost 200 cases have been reported within 50 miles of Sheffield, and it’s even reached Scotland, with 46 reported cases within 50 miles of Glasgow. If you want to see whether your area has been affected, check this map from My Pet and I.

Contraction & Prevention

Slugs and snails are usually responsible for lungworm being passed to dogs when ingested. Your pet’s toys, food and water bowls could all become contaminated without your knowledge. Regularly wash your dog’s bowls to help prevent contamination, and don’t leave their bowls and toys outside overnight, as this is when slugs and snails are most active. Pick up your dog’s faeces straight away, as lungworm can survive by being passed which could then infect more slugs and snails. Ensure you’re up to date with all of your dog’s worming treatments too, to give your pet the best protection.


Lungworm can go unnoticed for long periods of time, and some symptoms can be confused with other illnesses, like kennel cough. Other dogs may exhibit more severe symptoms, including:

– Coughing

– Respiratory problems

– Vomiting and/or diarrhoea

– Weight loss

– Lack of appetite

– Lethargy


Your vet should be able to test for the presence of lungworm in your furry friend and give you a quick result. If they find that your pet is infected, they should prescribe a worming treatment to eliminate the problem. Your vet may also prescribe further treatment if your dog is exhibiting more serious, severe symptoms.

If you are concerned about lungworm, you can read more about it here, or you can consult your vet for advice. If you share life’s adventures with a dog, you might want to think about taking out insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, our Dog Insurance includes a range of Standard Benefits, including Vet’s Fees cover up to £8,000.* You could even receive a 30% discount!^ Head on down to The Insurance Emporium to find out more.

* Cover up to £8,000 available on lunar monthly Lifetime Gold policies.

^ The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

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