Sunday, 24 May 2015


Dogs are infected by eating an intermediate host (usually dung beetle) or a transport host (chickens, reptiles or rodents). The larvae migrate to the thoracic aorta, where they usually remain for almost 3 months. Eggs are passed in faeces almost 5–6 months after infection.

Most dogs with S.lupi infection show rare clinical signs, but when signs are present, they most commonly include weight loss, coughing, and difficulty in breathing. When the oesophageal lesion is very large (usually when it has become tumerous), the dog has difficulty swallowing and may vomit repeatedly after trying to eat. Such dogs salivate profusely and eventually become emaciated. In addition, they may develop thickening of the long bones. These clinical signs are suggestive of spirocercosis with associated neoplasia in regions where the parasite is prevalent. Occasionally, a dog dies suddenly as the result of massive bleeding into the thorax after rupture of the aorta damaged by the developing worms.

Diagnosis can be made by your vet through clinical signs, faecal lab by demonstrating the characteristic small, elongated eggs that contain larvae in the faeces. Gastroscopic imaging occasionally reveals a nodule or an adult worm. A confirmatory diagnosis can be made by radiographic examination when it reveals dense masses in the esophagus; a positive-contrast barium study may help define the lesion. CT is an additional useful diagnostic tool.

It is important to note that many infections are not diagnosed until post-mortem.

Treatment and Control
It is important to plan a regular check up with your vet.

Dogs should be prevented from eating dung beetles, frogs, mice, lizards etc. and not fed raw chicken scraps. There are special spot on medicine that helps prevent the condition.

Please note that treatment of clinical cases is often not practical.