Atlas of livestock parasites
digitized collection of microscopical preparations

Atlas of Parasites Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Spirocerca lupi (dog, cat)



Untitled document

Nematode (order Spirurida)         

"esophageal worm"                

Distribution: Worldwide but primarily in warmer regions - in tropical and sub-tropical areas.

Host: Dog, wild dog, fox, occasionally cats and wild cats. Adults are found in the wall of the esophagus, stomach, and, rarely, aorta of dogs, wild canids, and various other wild animals.        

Life Cycle: Dung beetle intermediate hosts ingest eggs in feces. The defnitive host is infected by ingesting the insect intermediate host or a paratenic host (rodents, other mammals, birds, reptiles).

Diagnosis: Granulomatous lesions comprising the spirally coiled worms up to 8cm in length.  Eggs may be found in faeces or vomit otherwise diagnosis may be by endoscopy or radiography. Eggs are best detected by fecal sedimentation or (less reliably) by fecal flotation. The eggs are narrow, ellipsoidal, and cylindrical; have a smooth, clear shell wall; and contain a fully developed larva coiled inside.    

Size: 30–38 × 11–15 µm               

Clinical features: Many infected dogs do not show clinical signs. Infections are often subclinical. In some dogs infection can induce persistent vomiting with worms in the vomit.  Sometimes difficultly in swallowing or interference with the action of the stomach. The most common clinical signs are dysphagia and regurgitation, but aortic stenosis, aneurysm, esophageal rupture, or obstruction, cachexia and esophageal sarcomas may occur. 


No picture to show.

<<< Back