It’s hard to imagine that the loveable Dogue De Bordeaux cross pictured almost didn’t make it after contracting lungworm, a potentially fatal parasitic disease.
Honey is thought to have contracted lungworm after eating slugs and snails. Once inside the dog’s system, the parasite can travel through the body eventually ending up in the heart. If the infection is left untreated, the dog’s health can rapidly deteriorate, and can even result in death. Thankfully, Honey survived but became paralysed from the neck down as a result.
Honey ended up in the care of Millennium Vets in Braintree who have now got Honey back on her paws following months of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and round-the-clock care. She is now searching for a permanent home.
Steph Gowers, veterinary nurse at Millennium Vets in Braintree, comments, "My colleague Hannah Bourn and I have become very attached to Honey since she arrived at the practice in April 2015. She’s such a lovely dog and has done amazingly well since she arrived here. She is loved by all the staff at the practice, but she really deserves a loving permanent home. She is still very wobbly when she walks and requires a lot of encouragement, but she now has a level of independence that we are very pleased with and we feel she is now ready to be rehomed by the right person."
The ‘Be Lungworm Aware’ campaign, led by Bayer Animal Health, which aims to raise awareness of the parasite, is supporting Honey’s search for a forever home by providing treatment and food until her new owner is found. Bayer Animal Health, will also pay the physiotherapy costs for the first year after Honey‘s adoption to assist the new owners with her further recovery.
Steph continued, "Honey will need ongoing monthly administered parasitic treatment to prevent her from contracting lungworm again, and potentially ongoing physiotherapy for her hind legs. This sponsorship from Bayer now means that a loving home can be found more easily."
Caroline Braidwood, Marketing Manager at Bayer, adds, "A lungworm infection can cause major health problems in a dog, as we have seen with Honey, and in some cases may even be fatal. Sadly, we are seeing more and more cases reported across the country. Early detection and treatment can result in a full recovery, however, it is important to remember lungworm can be prevented through use of a monthly administered treatment. Quarterly worming will not prevent this parasite and not all products will protect against it – so check the label for Angiostrongylus vasorum. We really hope Honey finds her forever home soon and begins a happy life with a new family."
If you or someone you know is interested in potentially rehoming Honey or would like to know more about her story, the practice would love to hear from you. Please contact Millennium Vets on 01376 325511 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help raise awareness of the parasite, dog owners and vets nationwide are supporting the national ‘Be Lungworm Aware’ campaign by Bayer Animal Health. Dog owners can find out more information about lungworm and to check the risk in their area by searching their postcode here.