Can't stomach it?
A middle aged Dalmatian was presented to a clinic in middle Tennessee with a history of chronic vomiting and weight loss. When other testing revealed no abnormalities, an upper gastrointestinal endoscopic exam was performed which revealed ulcerative, friable small intestinal mucosa and a foreign object at the level of the proximal duodenum. You can see these findings in the endoscopic image below.
The worm seen above as well as a fecal sample was sent to University of Tennessee Parasitology Diagnostic Laboratory. Fecal flotation revealed no parasites, but closer examination of the anterior end of the adult worm can be seen in the picture below.
Many thanks to Dr. Kathryn Duncan, NCVP Resident in Veterinary Parasitology at Oklahoma State University, for providing the case history and photographs.
The adult worm seen above is Physaloptera rara, the stomach worm of dogs and cats. The most common clinical sign of infection is chronic vomiting as adult worms frequently induce gastritis. Typically, infected animals harbor 1-3 adult worms, but higher numbers have been reported. Because Physaloptera spp. eggs are often not found on fecal flotation, a suspected infection can be diagnosed via direct smear or endoscopy. Physaloptera spp. require an arthropod intermediate host such as crickets or beetles.
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