Live from CVC San Diego: Small animal parasites that you'd rather forget, but shouldn't
On Sunday morning, Nov. 3, veterinary parasitologist Dr. Andrew Moorhead discussed several small animal nematodes that, though less common than normal parasitic culprits, veterinarians will encounter often enough that they should be kept in mind. Here are few that he discussed.
Pearsonema plica infects dogs and cats, and Pearsonema feliscati seems to be specific to cats. Adult worms embed themselves in the urinary bladder mucosa and shed unembryonated eggs. Affected animals are usually asymptomatic, although cystitis can occur, causing hematuria and the need to urinate frequently. Infection is diagnosed by observing eggs in the urine sediment.
Eucoleus aerophilus infects foxes, dogs, and cats. Adult worms live in the mucosa of the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. Infection is usually asymptomatic, but a chronic cough or wheezing are occasionally noted. In severe cases, infection can cause tracheobronchitis, dyspnea, and pneumonia. Definitive diagnosis involves detecting the eggs (greenish-brown, asymmetrical eggs with a granular shell, bipolar plugs, and a single-cell embryo) on fecal flotation, in the sputum, or from a transtracheal wash.
Eucoleus boehmi infects dogs. Adult worms live in the mucosa of the nasal turbinates and sinuses. Infection is usually asymptomatic but can cause inflammation, resulting in sneezing and mucopurulent nasal discharge. Definitive diagnosis involves detecting the eggs (symmetrical and golden eggs with bipolar plugs and a pitted surface) on a smear of nasal discharge or on fecal flotation.
Fenbendazole and ivermectin have been used to treat capillarid infections.