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How Do Dogs Get Lungworm?

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We explain which dogs are at risk of developing this type of parasitic infection...

With the recent news that TV Host Lisa Wilkinson’s new puppy became paralysed with lungworm after an encounter with garden slug, here at BondiVet.com we'll explain the causes and precautions of the disease.

Lungworms are a parasitic worm that settles in the lungs and windpipe causing severe respiratory problems in dogs. Unlike many diseases lungworm is not actually passed from dog to dog. The worm needs slug and snail hosts in order to grow and develop and it is from eating these that infection may occur.

With high rainfall experienced across many parts of Australia, slugs are an increasing problem for us outdoors; dogs that spend a lot of time roaming in the woods & fields are at higher risk of developing this type of parasitic infection, Dogs become infected with lungworms when they drink water or eat prey infected with the larval stage of the worm.

Checks you can do see if your dog has a lungworm infection include:

  • Physical examination (lung auscultation) and history
  • Chest X-rays
  • Fecal examination for eggs
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Examination of fluid from lungs (tracheal wash)

If your dog is unlucky enough to de dignosed with lungworm, treatments are available including anti-parasitic medications. Make sure you take your buddy to your local Vet to help with this disease.

Cockatiel plucking her feathers

Hi! I hope you can help me with my cockatiel, I write from Spain and here they aren't that common so vets don't know much about treating them. I have a 5 years old female cockatiel and she is very affectionate, 2 years ago I had to spend a couple of months at a hospital and my parents during that time were either working or visiting me, so she felt lonely and started plucking her feathers. Even after I went back home she continued with this behaviour and hasn't stopped. I took her to different vets, they told me to give her small amounts of a syrup that was meant for calming itching and an antibiotic in case it was something producing an itching, but neither worked. I also tried a spray called "Pluck-no-more" with the same results. In case she was lonely we got her a mate, but it may be also female since they don't pay attention to each other at all. She rubs her cloaca on the perch often but the other tiel ignores it (the pet shop said it was male but they said the same with her and then she laid an egg...). The layer that covers the feather while growing (not sure of the name in English) doesn't grow normally, looks more like bland plastic than a hard cover like the ones on my other birds pin feathers (besides her, I have another cockatiel and a lovebird). Is as if the feathers on the plucking areas aren't growing correctly. The areas she plucks are under the wings, the part where wings join the body, and the body area that is covered by the wings while resting. While plucking she lets out small cries. The fluff covers these areas so by just looking at her isn't easy to tell, unless you watch her while preening. I let her play outside of the cage very often, but lately she can't fly well and I think it may be caused by the loss of these feathers. As I said, vets in this area are more specialized in cats and dogs and know little about parrots, so I hope you can advise me since these birds are native to Australia. Is there some kind of balm or spray I can apply on her skin to soothe it? Some medicine I can ask my local vet to use? I love her and it hurts seeing her in pain everytime she preens. Any advice would be much appreciated. Greetings from Spain!