Abstract Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Angiostrongylus vasorum (Nematoda, Metastrongyloidea) are causative agents of verminous feline and canine pneumonia. Both are presently emerging in several geographical areas and are of major clinical importance. Given the range of parasitic and non-parasitic pathogens which may cause cardio-respiratory distress in dogs and cats, the unequivocal specific diagnosis of both diseases is pivotal for unravelling their epidemiology and central to therapy and control. Several conventional clinico-pathologic, diagnostic imaging and parasitological approaches are currently used in practice, but all have major limitations in the specific diagnosis of these diseases. Serological methods have shown promise in the diagnosis of A. abstrusus and A. vasorum infections, but no clinically useful tests are currently available. Additionally, there have been major advances in the development of novel molecular diagnostic tools for feline aelurostrongylosis, but efforts to develop molecular diagnostic tests are still preliminary for angiostrongylosis. This article provides a review of A. abstrusus and A. vasorum infections in cats and dogs, focusing on the advantages and shortcomings of classical diagnostic methodologies and on present diagnostic advances as well as future perspectives instrumental to epidemiological and clinical studies.