LUNGWORM is a nasty disease that can be deadly to dogs, and pet owners across south Wales need to be aware of spots where it has been reported before.

It is a type of parasitic worm that can infect dogs and damage their lungs and other major organs - causing fatal consequences if left untreated.

Lungworms are passed through snails and slugs. 

Vets for Pets said: "Therefore if your dog plays or consumes them in the garden or when out for a walk, they can become infected.

"Dogs can also come into contact with lungworms through eating grass, drinking from puddles, outdoor water bowls, or toys that have been left outside in grass."

How many cases of Lungworm have been recorded around South Wales?

According to an interactive map from Elanco, more than 160 cases of lungworm have been reported across South Wales since 2015. 

Barry And District News: More than 160 cases of lungworm have been reported across south Wales.More than 160 cases of lungworm have been reported across south Wales. (Image: Elanco)

Swansea has seen the most reported cases of lungworm in south Wales with around 78. 

There have been five reported cases of lungworm around the centre of Newport with a further three in the nearby town of Risca.  

Bridgend has recorded four cases and Barry three. 

Lungworm has also been reported around various areas of Cardiff and Monmouthshire.

Elanco has stated the map is likely to show a large under-representation of how many lungworm cases have actually occurred due to it relying entirely on vets and pet-owners self-reporting cases. 

Lungworm symptoms to look out for

Lungworm can cause cardiac and respiratory diseases and can be fatal to dogs in severe cases.

Medivet said many dogs won’t show signs of lungworm for some time, meaning it can go undiagnosed in many cases.

Symptoms of lungworm include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Seizures

How to protect your dog against Lungworm

Vets for Pets said there were four ways to prevent your dog from getting Lungworm:

  • Get regular worming treatments.
  • Pick up your dog’s faeces quickly.
  • Removing toys and bowls from the garden overnight so they are not exposed to slugs and snails.
  • Changing the water in water bowls frequently.

Lungworm is not thought to affect humans.