Dipetalonema reconditum is an interstitial parasite of dogs transmitted by mosquitoes. It is rarely pathogenic and is of importance when diagnosing heartworm disease as both produce microfilariae that appear visually similar.
The adult worms measure 13 mm (male) to 25 mm (female). Dogs are the definitive host of this parasite. Fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) and lice (Heterodoxus spiniger) are intermediate hosts. The flea ingests a microfilaria when feeding on an infected dog. The microfilaria develops into an infective larva in 7 to 14 days. When the flea again feeds on a dog the infective larva is injected into the skin. The larva develops to the adult stage in the connective tissue of the dog's skin. The female worm lays microfilariae which find their way into the blood. The prepatent period is about 61 to 65 days. Adults are normally found in the connective tissue of skin.
No treatment is usually required, although these worms are sensitive to any ivermectin based formulation.