A couple from Annesley are warning dog owners to be on the lookout for a potentially fatal disease which unexpectedly took the life of their puppy.
Alan Lee and Ruth Hutchinson are fronting the nationwide ‘Be Lungworm Aware’ campaign after their one-year-old Fox Labrador, Angus, suddenly died from lungworm.
Ruth said: “Alan was away and I went up to bed as normal with Angus following me upstairs. At around 3am, he woke me up with a long howl, he was on Alan’s pillow next to me, and he just collapsed and died in front of me. There was nothing I could do.”
Angus’ case demonstrates the parasite may be present in Nottingham parks and gardens where slugs and snails may carry the ‘hidden killer’ lungworm parasite.
Dogs can become infected with lungworm after eating common garden slugs and snails carrying the larvae, or potentially even after swallowing the slime of an infected slug.
Angus died with no display of any obvious symptoms of lungworm.
Ruth said: “Angus wasn’t poorly before he died, we went out for a walk and he was running around happily in the garden the day he died. We were utterly gobsmacked.”
Alan and Ruth are joining other owners and vets nationwide in support of the national ‘Be Lungworm Aware’ campaign by Bayer Animal Health and appear in the television advertisement for the campaign.
“Even if we save one dog’s life from sharing our story we will be happy, we wouldn’t want Angus to have died in vain,” said Alan.
The lungworm parasite has now spread across the UK from its traditional habitat in the south of England and Wales.
Search the risk in your area at lungworm.co.uk/map.