Dog with bloody diarrhea
A five-year-old intact male coonhound presented with weight loss, lethargy, and bloody diarrhea. On physical examination, abdominal pain was evident. Laboratory tests revealed hypoalbuminemia, hyperglobulinemia, hypercalcemia, and a nonregenerative anemia. These parasite eggs were found on fecal sedimentation. What are they?
This is Heterobilharzia americana, a digenean trematode that causes canine schistomiasis in the southeastern United States. Normally a parasite of raccoons, dogs are readily infected when they wade or swim in water with active cercaria. Infection can lead to development of a severe, potentially fatal enteritis associated with the movement of the eggs from the mesenteric venules to the intestinal lumen. Treatment requires high-dose praziquantel or fenbendazole, but is not rewarding in all cases. The prognosis in severely affected dogs can be poor.
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