Dog owners are being warned about a deadly condition.

There have been 13 cases of lungworm reported across west, north and south Dorset.

One case has been reported in Bridport and two in Dorchester.

If you take your dog further afield, you should be aware that cases have been reported in Chard, Weymouth, Puddletown Forest and parts of east Devon, including Ottery St Mary.

Lungworm can be fatal to dogs - nine per cent of infected dogs will die - and it is spreading throughout the UK.

Company Bayer has set up a lungworm map monitoring cases and showing how much of a concern the disease is in any specific area around the country.

What is it?

Lungworm is a parasite that can cause serious health problems in your pet and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.

According to Vets4Pets, infected dogs and foxes spread the parasite into the environment via lungworm larvae released in their faeces. Slugs and snails then ingest the larvae while feeding. Other dogs and foxes can become infected with lungworm when they swallow these slugs/snails or potentially slime.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of the infection include: coughing, changes in breathing or struggling to breathe, going off food, upset stomach with vomiting and/or diarrhoea, weight loss, tiredness, unexplained or excessive bruising, pale gums and bleeding

How to prevent your dog catching lungworm

  • Regular worming treatments
  • Picking up your dog’s faeces quickly. This will help prevent the spread of lungworm
  • Removing toys and bowls from the garden overnight so they are not exposed to slugs and snails
  • Changing the water in water bowls frequently

Lungworm cannot be transmitted to humans.

More information can be found on the Vets4Pets website and you can check the map at