Protospirura spp

From Dog
Adult Protospirura numidica[1]

Protospirura are a cosmopolitan parasitic spirurid nematode found occasionally in the stomach of dogs.

This worm primarily infests synanthropic rats and various dermapteran intermediate hosts (e.g. cockroaches), as well as cats and dogs.

The adult worm is readily identified by the arrangement of the papillae on the male and the morphology and length of the spicules.

Species which have been identified include:

  • Protospirura bestianum
  • Protospirura muricola[2]
  • Protospirura numidica
  • Protospirura kaindiensis[3]
  • Protospirura siamensis[4]

These nematodes reside primarily in the stomach of carnivores and have a relatively simple life cycle. Adults shed eggs which are passed into the feces and consumed by small carnivores. Dogs become infected from eating infected prey.

Although Protospirura have been reported in dogs during routine coprological surveys, no clinical disease has been associated with this parasitism[5].

Empirical treatments would include milbemycin oxime, fenbendazole or a number of other proprietary anthelmintics.


  1. Daily parasite
  2. Smales LR et al (2009) A redescription of Protospirura muricola Gedoelst, 1916 (Nematoda: Spiruridae), a parasite of murid rodents. Syst Parasitol 72(1):15-26
  3. Smales LR (2001) Protospirura kaindiensis n. sp. (Spirura: Spiruridae) and other helminths from Pseudohydromys (Muridae: Hydromyinae) from Papua New Guinea. J Parasitol 87(1):169-172
  4. Ribas A et al (2012) Protospirura siamensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Spiruridae) from rodents in Thailand. Syst Parasitol 82(1):21-27
  5. El-Shehabi FS et al (1999) Prevalence of intestinal helminths of dogs and foxes from Jordan. Parasitol Res 85(11):928-934