Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- Uncinaria stenocephala
Uncinaria are a common intestinal helminth routine found in epidemiological surveys and in adult dogs are commonly found in co-infections with other intestinal nematodes such as Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina and Anyclostoma caninum.
This parasite has a direct life cycle with dogs becoming infected through ingestion of eggs in soil and coat hair, or through skin penetration by infective larvae. Sharp rostral teeth are used for attachment and anticoagulant peptides are used by this nematode to feed on their host. Eggs are activated through gastric proteolytic enzymes and larvae penetrate the mucosa of the intestine and undergo extensive tissue migration throughout the body before residing in the distal ileum, where they reproduce and shed eggs. The eggs pass in the feces and hatch in the soil as first-stage larvae, surviving over winter feeding on bacteria and molt twice to form the non-feeding, infective third stage.
Infections in young dogs normally result in characteristic underweight, pot-bellied puppies, which are often anemic. Deaths associated with heavy infestations in young dogs is relatively rare.
Diagnosis is usually based on coprological examinations using fecal floatation devices. Supportive diagnosis can be made with ELISA assays of feces and blood samples, and PCR assays can be used for accurate speciation of the parasite.
- Pennsylvania Vet Medicine
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