How to recognize and treat lungworms in dogs

Written by nicki howell
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A dog that experiences lungworms has parasites in the respiratory tract. The infection typically occurs when a dog comes in contact with a lungworm host. This condition can be a serious hazard to your dog’s health and needs immediate care.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Evaluate your dog for signs of lungworms. Dogs that suffer from this condition may have a cough and experience loss of appetite. They may also appear lethargic and depressed.

  2. 2

    Take your dog to the vet for an exam. Be prepared to supply a fecal sample for lungworm testing. You vet will also need to extract secretions from the respiratory system. It’s also wise to request a heartworm test to rule out this condition.

  3. 3

    Design a treatment plan with your dog’s doctor. A dog infected with lungworms should be given a deworming medication. If you have any other pets in the home make sure to get them tested and treated.

  4. 4

    Clean your dog’s area. When you bring your dog home from the vet make sure to clean his area. Wash all bedding regularly to prevent recurrence of the condition.

  5. 5

    Monitor you dog closely while he is recovering. Some dogs have a reaction to deworming treatments. Contact the vet if your canine experiences diarrhoea, vomiting or any other behaviour that seems out of character.

Tips and warnings

  • Prevent recurrence of lungworm in your canine. Keep your canine leashed when possible. Make sure he doesn’t come in contact with wild animals that could be a host for lungworms. If your dog frequents dog parks or other high traffic areas make sure he’s on a preventive medication.
  • Make sure to administer medication correctly. Even if your dog starts to feel better make sure to administer medication as directed to ensure a full recovery.

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