A vet has warned about an outbreak of lungworm this Summer as a 1-year-old dog was infected by a potentially deadly parasite.
A border collie rescue dog was almost killed by lungworm when she suddenly became sick overnight and collapsed.
Martin O’Malley said that Sammie's case was a reminder to the vet's practice of the dangers of the parasite: "Sammie was a remarkable case for the practice which really brought to our attention the serious problems lungworm can cause for dogs."
"With the very high level of lungworm infection in foxes in the area, and confirmed cases occurring in dogs, it is important that owners are aware of the option of using a monthly lungworm preventative" he added.
Lungworm larvae can be transferred to dogs by slugs and snails who carry the parasite in their slime that if dogs eat, lick or swallow, can ingest and become ill.
In the Irish climate, slugs and snails - which are carriers of lungworm - can be active all year round. An acre of farmland is estimated to support more than 250,000 slugs.
Sammie was rushed to vet Martin O'Malley's surgery because the 1-year-old dog appeared dull, quiet and not responsive.
The rescue dog was found to have internal bleeding but no history of external trauma which led O'Malley to diagnose lungworm.
A new interactive map has been set up to monitor Britain and Ireland for the deadly parasites which thrive in the wet and warm, and can also be carried by foxes which are in abundance this year. You can search your area for lungworm on this new interactive mapping system at www.lungworm.co.uk/map