Lungworm study could be rolled out across UK
A new study in England to help support the prevention and treatment of lungworm in dogs could be rolled out across the UK if successfu.
It will see hundreds of owners e offered a free test as part of the project, which is being run by clinicians from nine CVS Group practices across south-west, with the aim of gathering more data on both the number of dogs affected by the disease and which types may be most at risk.
Project lead Emily Parr said: “Lungworm is becoming more common in the UK, but unfortunately there is little current information about how many dogs in our local area are affected – and which dogs are at most risk.“This led our practice colleagues and me to discuss how we could best serve our canine patients. As a result of this vet meeting, the research project was born
“This regional study will ensure we get a more accurate picture of the prevalence of the disease within our practice canine population.“This will, in turn, enable us to provide the most appropriate recommendations for dogs under our care.“If we can offer targeted advice on preventive measures, along with catching the disease early, we’ll be more effective at both preventing and treating this disease.”
Caused by a parasitic worm that travels through the blood vessels and can affect major organs, dogs contract lungworm by eating larvae within infected snails, slugs or frogs. Although the disease cannot be directly transmitted from dog to dog, it can spread more rapidly as slugs and snails are infected by larvae passed in faeces from both dogs and foxes, who are believed to play an important role as an intermediate host.
Work on the study, which has been funded through the CVS Group’s clinical research grants programme and is its first multi-site first opinion research project, is taking place at practices in Bristol, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Around 1,000 participants are expected to be recruited across all of the participating practices.