Heartworm in the UK?

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Dr.Marie, Mar 18, 2010.


  1. Dr.Marie

    Dr.Marie PetForums Member

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    I practice in Canada and we see a few cases of heartworm each year (unlike the great number of cases that are seen in the southern US).

    I work in a practice that has a lot of clients who are diplomats and do a lot of travel to other countries, often with their pets.

    I was just wondering if heartworm is something that is seen in the UK? Or, if you are from another country, do you know if heartworm is seen there?

    Thanks!
     
  2. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    I think in some areas...? I have also heard that it is a different strain to that found in the US/Canada etc...it is also found on the continent (Europe) and again the different strain to US etc (but not sure if this is the same as the UK strain?)

    edited to add: actually this got me wondering so was googling it and it looks like it might be lungworm - which appears to also be called french heartworm? is it the same thing?

    lungworm is rife in some areas here and transmitted via slugs/snails/foxes - when i got maggie a few puppies had recently died from it...and there has since been an awareness campaign in my area at least.
     
    #2 katiefranke, Mar 18, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  3. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Hi I live in Spain. We have to vaccinate? give tablets against Heart lung Worm, for dogs. I took our Cat for her booster Rabies and Annual Jabs a few weeks ago, and the vet said it not needed for cats, and she has never seen a cat with heart or lung worm. I know our vet in the UK was advising about lung worm but never said about heartworm.
    Hope this is of some help:)
     
  4. billyboysmammy

    billyboysmammy PetForums VIP

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    lungworm (also known as heartworm) is very prevalent in certain areas, but there are plenty of preventative worming methods to use. :)
     
  5. mollythecollie

    mollythecollie PetForums Member

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    Nope, no heartworm in the UK- no mosquitoes.
     
  6. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    reading the symptoms it sounds like heart worm and lung worm are the same thing? the heatworm can move to the lung and causes the same thing?

    but obviously not transmitted by mosquitoes in the same way.

    we do have mosquitoes in the UK I think, just not the same type and in the same quantities.
     
  7. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    I could be wrong, (more than likely) but when we were getting our cats passport the video playing in the vets said that slugs and snails slime cam cause this problem. Also fox feaces. Also a few website also give this impression. Although i think the dog actually needs to ingest the slug or snail.
     
  8. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    yep thats lungworm...

    but not sure whether this is the same as what they call heartworm in the US/Canada - (although over there it is transmitted via mosquitoes so not the same strain)...
     
  9. mollythecollie

    mollythecollie PetForums Member

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    Heartworm in the US is caused by a parasite called dirofillaria immitus- we don't get it here. Lungworm in dogs is caused by aleurostrogylus vasorum- it can also be called the french heartworm.
     
  10. Dr.Marie

    Dr.Marie PetForums Member

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    Thanks guys! Great info!

    Heartworm and lungworm are actually different. And yes, heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos. You have NO mosquitos in the UK? Must be nice!

    Actually, now I remember a friend of ours visiting from England and she got a mosquito bite and had a severe reaction and had to go to the hospital. I guess her system had never been exposed to a mosquito before.
     
  11. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    We do have mosquitoes in the UK! And in fact we also have the Anopheles mosquito that is the natural host of Malaria. It's just that ours don't :)
    It has often been said (aka mooted/scaremongered by various parties) that if we did get malaria in amongst our native Anopheles then yes we could become a malarial country, but I think the climate helps to prevent that.

    However we have had malaria outbreaks in the UK, when soldiers returned from fighting in a malarial area after the first world war. I think the last case of malaria transmitted from UK mosquitoes occurred in the 1950's, but we do have cases - many of them - in people returning from malarial countries.

    No West Nile virus here either.

    Having travelled myself in the southern USA and the Tropics (India, Asia, including malarial areas) I can say that mosquitoes LOVE me...lol. But I have never needed anti-malarial drugs.

    But at the present time, to my knowledge, no mosquitoes in the UK transmit anything serious (although they do transmit Myxomatosis to rabbits - and that is a relatively recent development, as it was not borne by flying biting insects a few decades ago).

    So.... no heartworm (as you know it).

    But we do have an issue with Lungworm, transmitted by snails & slugs, thought to have spread here from Northern France and getting more widespread every year. Confusion arises as this was originally called "French Heartworm" but that term has been dropped due to the (all too apparent!) confusion with other types of heartworm, from which the UK is free.

    Hope this clears thing up for you :)
     
    #11 MerlinsMum, Mar 18, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
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