Does this belong in a camel?
A routine fecal egg count was requested on a 2-year-old camel during the month of August. A Wisconsin was performed and the following parasite egg was observed:
Image 1: Egg measures 75 µM x 65µM
Spurious Toxocara cati
This camel ingested food contaminated with cat feces. The egg is fully larvated which means the egg has been in the environment for a few weeks. We know the egg is T. cati due to its size..
Camels have been reported to be infected with roundworms in other parts of the world, the species that infects them is Toxocara vitulorum (75 to 90 µM x 60 to 75µM), and it is commonly found in the small intestine of bovid calves in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Camels and adult bovines can become infected with Toxocara vitulorum after ingesting eggs from the environment. In calves the most common route of transmission is lactogenic. Treatment is recommended in young calves, however treatment in adult bovines is unlikely to be effective because of the inability of the drugs to affect hypobiotic larval forms.
Treating the camel for the spurious Toxocara cati egg is not necessary as it is not a true parasite of camels.
Eggs and worms and teeth, oh my!
A 4-month-old German shepherd was submitted for necropsy to the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. The dog had a history of hematochezia, anemia, and lethargy. The intestinal content was used to perform a centrifugal fecal flotation with Sheather’s solution. The following eggs and part of a worm were observed.
Image 1: 100X magnification
Ancylostoma caninum is the most common hookworm of dogs. Adults live in the small intestine, and their buccal cavity is armed with three pairs of teeth that are used to attach to the intestinal mucosa. They are voracious blood feeders, which gives them their dark colored appearance in fresh specimens. Peracute, acute, and chronic disease syndromes can occur. Transmission is via several routes: direct skin penetration or ingestion of infective third-stage larvae in the environment, ingestion of a paratenic host with infective larvae in its tissues, or transmammary transmission to pups.
The eggs can be detected by flotation techniques, and measure 60–79 x 30–55um.
Image 2: Anterior end of adult worm with an egg visible in its buccal cavity.
Somebunny has parasites...
A fecal sample from a 4 month-old intact male English lop rabbit was submitted for gastrointestinal parasite evaluation. According to the owner, the rabbit has not been doing well lately.
A centrifugal fecal flotation with Sheather’s sugar solution (specific gravity, 1.26) was performed, and a number of these eggs were observed (Images 1–3) sizes ranged from 97.5 x 40 µM to 105 x 47.5 µM
Image 1: 100x magnification
Image 2: 200x magnification
Image 3: 400x magnification
Passalurus ambiguus are Oxyurids, commonly called pinworms and are distributed worldwide. The adults live in the cecum of rabbits. The eggs are passed in the feces of infected rabbits, and the eggs become infective within a short period of time. Infections with this nematode are usually subclinical.
The eggs can be detected by flotation techniques, and measure 95-105 x 45 µM.
The chicken or the egg?
Three chickens were submitted for necropsy to the Oklahoma Animal Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory. A history of poor feather condition, decreased egg production, and increased mortality was reported. The ceca of the birds were submitted for fecal examination and parasite identification. During gross examination several adult parasites were observed in one of the chicken’s cecum (Figures 1–3).
The fecal content was pooled for a centrifugal fecal floatation using sugar solution and the following eggs were observed (Figures 4 and 5).
Heterakis spp. are common parasites in poultry and wild bird hosts. Adults are found in cecum. Eggs are passed in the feces of poultry and become infective in the environment.
How were the chickens infected? Ingesting eggs from contaminated environment or through ingestion of earthworms that act as transport host.
Is it pathogenic? Heterakis gallinarum is usually nonpathogenic, however they act as vectors of the protozoan Histomonas melagridis (blackheaded disease) which can be a life threatening infection, particularly in turkeys.
How do you treat it? Piperazine is an anthelmintic approved by the FDA for use in chickens to treat ascarids. Fenbendazole has also been shown to reduce the number of Heterakis gallinarum in infected birds by less than 90%. (1, 2)
A fecal sample from a 2 year-old male rat rescued from a hoarding situation, was submitted for gastrointestinal parasites evaluation. The rat did not show any symptoms at submittal but the feces was soft in consistency.
For fecal analysis, a centrifugal fecal flotation with Sheather’s sugar solution (specific gravity, 1.26) was performed, and a low number of eggs were observed.
Trichosomoides crassicauda or bladder threadworm, is a parasite of the urinary bladder of rats. The female is 10–19 mm long; the male measures 1.5–3.5 mm. A curious fact about this parasite is that the male lives inside the uterus of its mate (hyperparasite).
The medium‐sized egg is lemon‐shaped with transparent polar plugs and measures about 60–70 by 30–36 μm. The shell is thick and brown, and contains either a morula or an L1 larva.
How did the rat become infected? Usually from mother rats to their offspring before weaning.
Is it pathogenic? The presence of the worms can cause nodules in the bladder wall.
How do you treat it? In laboratory animals successful treatment has been achieved with Ivermectin subcutaneously at 0.2 mg/kg or orally at 3mg/kg.
Which came first the parasite or the egg?
A fecal sample from a 6-month-old, spayed female, Siamese cat was submitted for a gastrointestinal parasite evaluation. The cat did not show any symptoms at submittal. For fecal analysis, a centrifugal fecal flotation with Sheather’s sugar solution (specific gravity, 1.26) was performed, and a low number of these eggs were observed
Image 1: 100X magnification
Image 2: 400X magnification
Demodex spp. eggs.
The fecal sample also showed Demodex spp. adults (Image 3)
Image 3: 200X magnification
Demodex spp. are small wormlike mites with short legs, they live in the hair follicles and sebaceous glands of mammals. Several species of Demodex often parasitize the same animal host, but each species tends to be restricted to a particular location. In cats, dermatitis associated with Demodex cati is rarely noticed and is usually localized on the head and in the ear canals. Demodex gatoi, is a much shorter and is more superficially dwelling than D. cati. Cases of feline demodicosis are believed to be associated with underlying immunosuppressive diseases.
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