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The lungworm, also known as French heartworm, is a parasite that infects dogs. The adult of this particular lungworm lives in the heart or major blood vessels supplying the lungs, where it can cause a host of problems. Left untreated, the infection can also be fatal. The lungworm parasite is carried by slugs and also snails. The problem arises when dogs purposely or accidentally eat these common garden pests when rummaging through the undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or even pick them up from their toys.

Foxes can also become infected with the lungworm and have implications in the spread of the parasite across the country. There are two main problems caused by dogs becoming infected with lungworm. Infection with lungworm can cause serious health problems in dogs, and often fatal if not diagnosed and treated. Dogs infected with lungworms spread the parasite into the environment, as the larvae of the parasite are expelled in the dogs' faeces. This increases the chances of other dogs then becoming infected. You can protect your dog with the correct treatments available from your vet or your pet professional.