Heterophyes spp

From Dog
Adult Heterophyes heterophyes intestinal fluke

Heterophyes spp are a non-pathogenic intestinal fluke parasite of dogs.

Pathogenic species in dogs include:

  • Heterophyes heterophyes
  • Heterophyes dispar[1]

The life cycle of this parasite includes snails as first intermediate hosts and fish (usually mullets; Mugil cephalus) as second intermediate host. Dogs become infected from eating fish that contain encysted metacercariae[2].

Diagnosis is based on coprological identification of Heterophyes eggs, although immunological assays are available for experimental use[3].

Treatment of this parasite in dogs is relatively effective with praziquantel, although phytotherapy with areca nut and pumpkin seed has proven effective[4].


  1. El-Gayar AK (2007) Studies on some trematode parasites of stray dogs in Egypt with a key to the identification of intestinal trematodes of dogs. Vet Parasitol 144(3-4):360-365
  2. Elshazly AM et al (2007) Host-induced phenotypic differences in Egyptian Heterophyes heterophyes (Digenea: Heterophyidae). J Egypt Soc Parasitol 37(3):815-824
  3. Elshazly AM et al (2008) Comparison of three immunodiagnostic tests for experimental Heterophyes heterophyes infection in dogs. Vet Parasitol 151(2-4):196-202
  4. Mahmoud LH et al (2002) Treatment of experimental heterophyiasis with two plant extracts, areca nut and pumpkin seed. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 32(2):501-506