MAGAZINE: Celebrity Tess Daly returns to Crufts to raise awareness of the dangers of lungworm
Crufts is one of the largest dog events in the world, originally staged in 1891 by Charles Cruft, which this year celebrates its 125th anniversary.
For prospective dog owners and dog lovers, Crufts is a great opportunity to talk to Kennel Club Assured Breeders, rescue charities and breed experts about how to responsibly buy, train and enjoy life with a dog, not to mention an exhibition of all things cute and fluffy.
We caught up with dog lover, Tess Daly, who is appearing as part of her role as ambassador for the Be Lungworm Aware campaign.
After being involved in the campiagn in 2015, Tess became increasingly convinced that her golden retriever, Sam, may have died of lungworm.
As a result, Tess is attending this year’s event to encourage other dog owners to be alert to the dangers of lungworm and look-out for signs their dog could have become infected the deadly parasite.
For all this and more watch our informative video as we catch up with Tess and get some sneak peaks of the event itself.
How dogs can contract the lungworm parasite?
· INGESTING LARVAE: Slugs and snails carry the lungworm larvae and dogs can become infected when they eat these common garden pests whilst rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or pick them up from their toys
· FAECES: Infected dogs and foxes spread the parasite into the environment as the lungworm larvae are excreted in their faeces, slugs and snails that come into contact with the faeces can become infected, increasing the chances of other dogs becoming infected
· FOXES: A study from the University of Bristol published in 2015 which examined the fox population, whose faeces can spread lungworm larvae, suggested that the overall prevalence of lungworm in foxes is 18.3 per cent in the UK, which is significantly higher than in previous years
· TRAVEL: With more people travelling in the UK with their dogs, and foxes roaming up to 50km, the risk of the parasite spreading around the country will continue
Do you know what the signs of lungworm in your dog are?
· This canine disease is most commonly caused by swallowing slugs and snails carrying the lungworm larvae but it is preventable and treatable so it is vital people know how to spot the symptoms
· Once the lungworm parasite is inside dogs’ systems, it can cause symptoms such as breathing problems, tiring easily, coughing, persistent bleeding, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in some cases, death for beloved canine companions.
Evidence from the Royal Veterinary College confirms the lungworm parasite has spread across the UK, from its traditional habitat in the south of England and Wales, now being widespread in Central England and also reaching northern regions and Scotland, with one in five vet practices reporting at least one case of the parasite1 A year ago animal health experts Bayer launched a Lungworm Mapping Tool to assist with plotting the prevalence of the disease across the UK, as part of a wider research programme to better monitor and document the spread of the potentially fatal disease. Vets are continuing to report cases of lungworm in their practices to be added to the interactive map, helping them to see where dogs could be at risk.