Lungworm and Surgery

Lungworm has become more common in recent years and has spread throughout the south west. Dogs become infected through eating small slugs and snails that carry the worm larvae.

It is possible for a dog to be carrying the worms without any sign of being ill. Unfortunately one serious effect can be to interfere with their blood clotting. This may not become apparent until either the dog injures themselves or they have surgery or dentistry.

We recommend a regular parasite program designed to control lungworm. If, however, your pet is not on such treatment, we would like you to be aware of the risks and actions you may take to
minimise them:

  1. If surgery is to be carried out in the future treatment should be given to remove any existing infection.
    • An application of Advocate Spot-On®, or Prinovox® at least one week prior to your appointment; These products are the only ones licensed to kill lungworms and are available on prescription from a vet.
  2. If surgery is to be carried out in less than a week: We are able to test our patients’ clotting times to avoid the risk of an uncontrollable bleed. This test is done when the dog is anaesthetised. If there is a concern, and the surgery can be postponed, it is safer that the dog be allowed to wake up, be treated and return for surgery 1-2 weeks later. If this is emergency surgery, then we can be prepared if a blood transfusion may be required.

Please visit My Pet and I for more information.