Britain’s *9.9 million pet dogs could be at risk of serious illness from the increasingly common Lungworm disease which can be caused by the animals eating garden slugs.
The average British garden contains up to 20,000 slugs and snails and, following December’s recording breaking warm temperatures, that number is likely to increase, according to BASF, which produces Nemaslug, an organic form of slug control.
BASF is warning families at home to be mindful of the increased risk of Lungworm when letting dogs play in back gardens.
Slugs carry the dreaded lungworm parasite and some dogs deliberately eat the slimy invertebrates. Animals can also be infected when they forage in long grass and when slugs crawls into their food and drink containers.
The most effective way of dealing with the risk is removing slugs from your garden and the most pet-friendly way to achieve this – other than hand collecting them – is using nematodes.
Nematodes are microscopic, worm-like creatures that occur naturally in garden soil. Specific varieties seek out different prey species. Nemaslug is the UK’s brand-leading nematode-based slug control product. It is simply mixed with water and poured around plants using a watering can or hose feed.
PDSA Vet, Fran Neve, says: “Cases of lungworm are becoming much more common and the condition can pose a risk to dogs across much of the UK. Once pets are infected, lungworm can go on to cause serious problems such as heart failure, kidney disease, breathing difficulties, seizures and bleeding/clotting disorders. Common symptoms include unexplained bleeding, coughing, seizures and even blindness. Symptoms can develop very quickly, and owners should contact their vet by telephone if they see any changes in their pets’ health. Owners can protect their dogs form lungworm by making sure their regular worming routine includes lungworm protection that is veterinary-licensed.”
Nemaslug is available from online retailers including www.greengardener.co.uk
*The PDSA’s most current Wellbeing report says that 26% of the UK adult population has a dog with an estimated 9.9 million pet dogs.