Lungworms are slender hairlike parasites 1cm long. There are several species of lungworm that affects dogs.
Capillaria aerophila reside in the nasal cavity and upper air passages, producing a mild cough. Most dogs with lungworms have mild infections and do not show clinical signs. Heavily infested dogs (usually under 2yrs of age) may have a persistent dry cough, weight loss, and intolerance to exercise.
Capillaria aerophila is acquired by ingesting eggs or a transport host such as snails, slugs, or rodents. These parasites reside in the nasal cavity and upper air passages, producing a mild cough.
Filaroides species produce a tracheal and bronchial infection that tends to be a kennel related problem (especially in Greyhounds).
Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, a chest X-ray, and identification of the eggs or larvae in the stool or respiratory secretions. Bronchoscopy on a dog with a Filaroides infection may reveal small nodules in the wall of the trachea. Larvae may be seen peeking out of these growths.
Treatment with Panacur is often needed for extended periods of time.
Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet may be infested with lungworms.
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