Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- Crenosoma vulpis
The life cycle of this parasite involves a paratenic host (usually snails) and encysted infective larvae within the mollusc are ingested by dogs. The larvae are proteolytically activated by gastric acids in the stomach and undergo visceral migration to finally reside in the pulmonary tree of dogs. Adult worms within the lungs deposit eggs in the alveoli and these ascend via ciliary action into the oropharynx, where they are swallowed, and are shed in the feces. Fecal eggs are ingested by snails to complete the cycle. The prepatent period is approximately 3 weeks in dogs.
A chronic insidious cough predominates, with some dogs presenting with hemoptysis, signs not dissimilar to dogs with allergic respiratory disease. Clinicians failing to consider C. vulpis infection in cases of dogs suffering signs of chronic cough are most likely to misdiagnose and treat the condition as asthma or an allergic disease.
Hematological parameters are usually nonspecific, although eosinophilia is common.
Diagnosis usually involves coprological examination using a Baermann flotation device. Bronchoalveolar lavage are usually performed and larva are regularly found.
ELISA assays are usually indicative of C. vulpis infection and PCR assays are a definitive test.
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