Pelodera spp

From Dog
P. strongyloides larva as seen in a skin scraping[1]
Severe ulcerative dermatitis and deep pyoderma in a German shepherd pup due to Pelodera strongyloides infestation[1]

Pelodera spp are a parasitic saprophytic nematode which sometimes causes disease in dogs.

Pelodera are a small (1 - 2 mm) nematode which normally resides in decaying organic matter. Filthy conditions are cited as a requirement for the development of Pelodera dermatitis and dogs become infected by infective third-stage larvae penetrate pre-existing skin lesions[2]. As decaying organic matter is a natural habitat of P. strongyloides, damp straw bedding is often present in the history of dogs suffering from Pelodera dermatitis[3].

The case reports of canine Pelodera dermatitis are predominantly from Central Europe[4], the Midwestern United States[5] and Norway.

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Pelodera (Rhabditis) strongyloides

In dogs, rare cases of pruritis, erythemata, alopecia, severe ulcerative dermatitis and deep pyoderma have been reported[1]. The ventral abdomen, chest, perineum, distal legs, lateral shoulders and lateral thighs were most commonly affected.

Diagnosis of the disease is based on case history (a dog living outdoors on damp straw bedding) with characteristic skin lesions and on the demonstration of typical larvae in skin scrapings or biopsy. A differential diagnosis must include Sarcoptes scabiei, Demodex canis and the hookworm Uncinaria stenocephala.

Treatment must address the dog's bedding which may be a source of contamination.

Anthelmintic drugs such as ivermectin have been effective.

Oral antibiotics such as amoxycillin/clavulanate in cases with confirmed or suspected concurrent bacterial infection is recommended.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Saari SA & Nikander SE (2006) Pelodera (syn. Rhabditis) strongyloides as a cause of dermatitis--a report of 11 dogs from Finland. Acta Vet Scand 48:18
  2. Georgi JR et al (1991) Rhabditis (Pelodera) In: Georgi JR, Georgi ME, editor. Canine Clinical Parasitology. Malvern, PA, USA, Lea & Febiger. pp:165–166
  3. Gross TL et al (2005) Pelodera dermatitis. In: Gross TL, Ihrke PJ, Walder EJ, Affolter VK, editor. Skin diseases of the dog and cat – Clinical and histopathologic diagnosis. Oxford, UK, Blackwell Publishing. pp:449–451
  4. Sudhaus W & Schulte F (1988) Rhabditis (Pelodera) strongyloides (Nematoda) als Verursacher von Dermatitis, mit systematishen und biologishen Bemerkungen über verwandte Arten. Zool Jb Syst 115:187–205
  5. Pasyk K (1978) Dermatitis rhabditiosa in an 11-year-old girl – A new cutaneous parasitic disease of man. Br J Dermatol 98:107–112