Vet turns tec to get to bottom of poodunnit.
Byline: Neil McIntosh
CONCEALED deep within the leafy suburbs and parks of Prestwick is a deadly killer that might just be waiting to creep up on you and strike.
The drama unfolded when Barney the Labrador was taken to Dalblair Veterinary Surgery - our dashing hero was limping badly with a large swelling in a foreleg.
Enter stage left, our heroine, a vet with the looks of Garbo and the detective powers of Miss Marple. It was obvious she was dealing with something strange.
Further investigation was required. An X-ray revealed a large haematoma in the leg muscle. She concluded it was pressing on the radial nerve, causing malfunction. But who had inflicted such damage? Where was our villain? Actually, he was found in Barney's poo. A faecal sample sent to forensics contained larvae of the dastardly Angiostrongylus vasorum worm, aka lungworm.
Summoning Barney's worried owners to the drawing room, Miss Marple was able to reveal the entire plot.
Barney had happened upon a snail and decided to eat it.
Contained within the snail were infective larvae. Once in Barney's intestine, they penetrated the wall and matured within the abdominal lymph nodes before heading to the right side of the heart and pulmonary arteries, where they laid eggs.
After these hatched, it was a short hop to the windpipe to be coughed up, swallowed and passed out in faeces. The snails then ate the larvae to become infective themselves.
I am not suggesting that the good people of Prestwick are culpable in not picking up dog poo, as foxes - natural hosts of the worm - may be the main cause of the spread.
But ask your vet about prevention using Advocate Spot-on before your dog becomes a victim.
SHOW NEWS June 15 & ? Border Union championship show, Springwood Park, Kelso. Saturday: Gun dogs, hound and terrier groups. Sunday: Working, pastoral, toy groups. Judging at 9am. June 16 ? Scottish Beagle Group championship show, Lanark Agricultural Centre, 10am.
June 16 ? Cairn Terrier Club limited show, Cochrane Hall, Alva, 11am.
FUTURE SHOWS July 6 ? Greenock & District Kennel Association open show, Irvine. Schedules: Mr J Richardson, North Lodge, Greenock Road, Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde PA18 6BL, 01475 520989. Entries close June 18.
July 7 ? Hound Association of Scotland limited show, Alva. Schedules: Mr A Littlejohn, 15 Milton Drive, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire KA3 7HZ, 01563 540194. Entries close June 17. July 14 ? Fife Kennel Association open show, Kirkcaldy. Secretary: Mrs E Drummond, 16 Drover Hall Avenue, Crossgates, Fife, 01383 515021. Entries close June 17.