The lungworm, Angiostrongylus vasorum, was first reported in indigenous dogs in southwestern England in 1980 and has since been recorded in Wales, southeastern England and, more recently, in the West Midlands, northern England and Scotland. The nationwide distribution of the parasite was evaluated using a postal questionnaire sent to 3950 small animal practices during 2009. Information was sought on the location of each practice, awareness of the parasite locally, number of cases diagnosed over the past year and whether diagnosis was based on clinical signs alone or supported by additional tests. 1419 practices returned a usable response, the majority being located in a city/town. Nearly one-third of responding practices were aware of the parasite locally, 20.7 per cent had seen at least one confirmed case and 0.3 per cent >20 confirmed cases over the past year. The most widely used tests were faecal examination and any type of imaging. Existing clusters of infection were detected in southeastern England and south Wales; infection was also found to be widespread in central England, though patchy in northern England and Scotland. Using distribution of clinical cases as an indicator of parasite distribution, this study confirmed that A. vasorum has spread beyond traditional UK endemic foci.
- Accepted May 1, 2014.
- British Veterinary Association
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