DOG owners in Shropshire are warned to remain vigilant as 150 cases of a deadly pet disease have been recorded within 50 miles of the county's centre.

Lungworm cases are on the the rise and spreading across the country, and if left untreated, can be fatal to dogs.

Sadly, nine per cent of animals who become infected with the disease die from the health issues lungworm causes.

Symptoms of a lungworm infestation for dogs can 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.

Lungworm is a parasite that can be spread in the environment in several ways.

For example, infected dogs and foxes can spread the disease, with lungworm larvae being present in their faeces.

Other animals can ingest this, or it can be eaten by slugs and snails, which if eaten by dogs, can further spread the disease.

According to an interactive map that tracks registered cases of lungworm, there are 150 cases in a 50-mile radius of Shrewsbury - including two cases in Ellesmere and one in Oswestry.

A further two have been reported in Shrewsbury, three in Telford and one in Ironbridge.

There is no data to show where these animals picked up the disease.

You can prevent your dog from being seriously harmed by a lungworm infection in the following ways:

  • 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 from animals to humans.