LUNGWORM hotspots in Essex have been revealed after vets warn thousands of dogs are at risk from the deadly parasite.

Due to damp weather across Essex in May, it is expected the slug and snail activity has exploded.

As a result, dogs may be at greater risk of contracting lungworm in the garden, on walks and even by drinking from water bowls or puddles.

Dogs can be infected with the potentially fatal parasite when they eat common slugs and snails in their garden or on walks.

Gazette: Cases in north EssexCases in north Essex

They can also pick up lungworm while rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or picking it up from their toys.

The slime of slugs and snails can contain the infective lungworm parasite that can cause disease in dogs.

According to the map by My Pet and I, a total of 1,415 cases of lungworm have been reported within a 50 mile radius of Essex

The map shows nine cases were reported in the Colchester borough, six in Braintree, Witham and Halstead, three in Chelmsford and five in Maldon.

Gazette: Cases in south EssexCases in south Essex

But cases were even more rampant in south Essex with 42 cases across Southend, Basildon and Brentwood.

To see how many cases have been spotted in your area, you can visit the map here.