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Lungworm causes heart failure in a dog

We have recently seen another dog with lungworm infection. This dog showed signs of heart failure, as the worm can infect the large arteries (pulmonary arteries) around the heart. This caused high blood pressure in the pulmonic artery which in turn caused heart failure to occur.

This is a video of the heart with a leaky tricuspid heart valve cause by the high blood pressure. The heart is on its side and the top chambers in the picture are to the right side of the heart. The colour flow shows leaking of blood back across the leaky heart valves. Normally the bottom chambers (the left side of the heart) would be bigger than the top right sided chambers, but due to the heart failure you can see that the top chambers are bigger.

Lungworm is becoming more prevalent in West London due to foxes spreading the disease. It is spread to slugs and snails and if your dog eats a slug or snail or the slimy slug trail lungworm infection may occur. We strongly recommend that owners treat dogs monthly with Advocate to the back of the neck to prevent this disease. Please see for contact details of our nearest surgery to you.


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