Atlas of livestock parasites
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Eucoleus aerophilus (dog, cat)



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Nematode (order Enoplida)

syn.: Eucoleus (=Capillaria) aerophilus, E. boehmi

"fox lungworm (E. aerophilus)"              

These parasites were formerly in the genus Capillaria and are still frequently referred to by that name.

Distribution: Eucoleus aerophilus is found worldwide; E. boehmi has been reported  from North and South America and Europe.     

Host: Trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles of dogs, cats, and foxes (E. aerophilus).  Epithelium of the nasal turbinates and sinuses of dogs and wild canids (E. boehmi).     

Life Cycle: The defnitive host is probably infected by ingestion of eggs containing infective larvae, although an earthworm intermediate host may be involved.   

Diagnosis: Eggs are detected by fecal fotation examination or in tracheal or nasal mucus samples. The eggs are clear to golden (E. boehmi) or brownish green (E. aerophilus), are bipolar plugged, tend to be asymmetrical in shape, and contain a multicelled embryo.    

Size: 58–79 × 29–40µm   E. aerophilus    

Size: 54–60 × 30–35µm  E. boehmi    

Clinical features: Eucoleus aerophilus is an important pathogen in farmed foxes and causes bronchopneumonia. Infections in dogs and cats are usually subclinical; however, in some cases, chronic cough occurs. Eucoleus boehmi infections are usually subclinical. Reported clinical signs include sneezing and a mucopurulent nasal discharge that may contain blood.              


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