Beware: Lungworm nearly killed my dog

Better now – Ribbons was infected by a lungworm, probably through eating slugs

Better now – Ribbons was infected by a lungworm, probably through eating slugs

First published in News by

A DOG was left fighting for her life after becoming infected with a deadly parasite.

Ribbons, a King Charles spaniel, was just eight months old when she lost her appetite and began struggling to breathe.

At first owner Veronica Hull, from Basildon, thought her dog was ready to breed, but soon realised something serious was wrong.

She said: “One evening she refused to eat her dinner. At the time I wasn’t immediately concerned as I thought she could just be coming into her first season. I told my husband that if she still didn’t eat her breakfast the next day, I would take her to the vets for a check up.

“However, the next morning we found her lying on her side, barely breathing. She was in such a bad way and almost unresponsive.

We rushed her to the vets, by which time Ribbons was in a coma.”

Staff at Companion Care, in Pipps Hill, Basildon, carried out extensive tests and X-rays and soon discovered Ribbons was harbouring a parasitic lungworm.

The parasite has been a problem in other parts of Europe for many years, but is now spreading across Britain.

For 24 hours, Ribbons’ life was in serious danger, but she eventually began to pull through.

Mrs Hull added “In all my 37 years as a dog breeder, I had never come across such a horrifying infection in a dog before and honestly thought I was going to lose her. She had less than a 25 per cent chance of survival and the speed at which it took hold was scary.

“It actually took around six weeks before Ribbons was back to full health and could trot down the garden without panting or laying down for a rest.

“We can’t thank our vet enough for saving our puppy’s life.”

Mrs Hull now makes sure she warns every dog owner she meets about the dangers of lungworm.

Dogs become infected with the parasite after eating or accidentally swallowing garden slugs and snails carrying the larvae.

Bayer Animal Health, which specialises in medicine for animals, has recently launched a parasite awareness campaign called “It’s a Jungle Out There”.

A spokesman for the organisation said: “Once inside the dog’s system, the parasite travels through the body, eventually ending up in the heart.

“If the infection is left untreated, the dog’s health can rapidly deteriorate, and can even result in death.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/jungleforpets or www.lungworm.co.uk.

Comments (5)

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11:49am Mon 23 Jun 14

SLord90 says...

So sad, glad Ribbons has fully recovered though :)
So sad, glad Ribbons has fully recovered though :) SLord90
  • Score: 2

1:09pm Mon 23 Jun 14

luvscavaliers says...

Two glaring errors in this reporting: This little dog is a CAVALIER King Charles Spaniel, & she was NOT 'ready to breed' No responsible breeder, as Mrs Hull is, would breed from such a young dog.
Your 'reporter' should correct these mistakes.
Two glaring errors in this reporting: This little dog is a CAVALIER King Charles Spaniel, & she was NOT 'ready to breed' No responsible breeder, as Mrs Hull is, would breed from such a young dog. Your 'reporter' should correct these mistakes. luvscavaliers
  • Score: 1

2:52pm Mon 23 Jun 14

veronicahull says...

Thank you 'luvscavaliers' for clarifying these points. I'd like to put on record that as the owner of the dog concerned I have never discussed Ribbons with any reporter from the Echo Newspaper, and have had no communication with the author of this article or anyone else at the Echo. If I had been interviewed I could have given correct details, rather than the misleading account I have just read in your paper. As for breeding from an 8 month old puppy, what a sickening thought, add another 2 years to that 8 months and that's the youngest I would even consider breeding any female.... and of course, Ribbons is NOT a 'King Charles Spaniel' as stated in the article, she is a Cavalier.
Thank you 'luvscavaliers' for clarifying these points. I'd like to put on record that as the owner of the dog concerned I have never discussed Ribbons with any reporter from the Echo Newspaper, and have had no communication with the author of this article or anyone else at the Echo. If I had been interviewed I could have given correct details, rather than the misleading account I have just read in your paper. As for breeding from an 8 month old puppy, what a sickening thought, add another 2 years to that 8 months and that's the youngest I would even consider breeding any female.... and of course, Ribbons is NOT a 'King Charles Spaniel' as stated in the article, she is a Cavalier. veronicahull
  • Score: 5

3:15pm Mon 23 Jun 14

LesleyRW says...

Whilst the article can be commended for highlighting the dangers of lungworm, it should nevertheless not contain inaccuracies. The dog pictured is not a King Charles Spaniel, it is a CAVALIER King Charles Spaniel - a very different breed. Also no responsible breeder would never breed from one so young. If this reporter had indeed interviewed Mrs Hull these inaccuracies would not have occurred. An apology would appear to be due, correcting the errors.
Whilst the article can be commended for highlighting the dangers of lungworm, it should nevertheless not contain inaccuracies. The dog pictured is not a King Charles Spaniel, it is a CAVALIER King Charles Spaniel - a very different breed. Also no responsible breeder would never breed from one so young. If this reporter had indeed interviewed Mrs Hull these inaccuracies would not have occurred. An apology would appear to be due, correcting the errors. LesleyRW
  • Score: 4

5:45pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Howard Cháse says...

Given the above comments from the dog in the story's owner maybe the Echo should remember the blurb that is displayed below the reply box here and take it into consideration....


"Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link."


Good news that Ribbons has recovered from this horrible parasitic infection.
Given the above comments from the dog in the story's owner maybe the Echo should remember the blurb that is displayed below the reply box here and take it into consideration.... "Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link." Good news that Ribbons has recovered from this horrible parasitic infection. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 1

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