A 2-year-old female Mongolian gerbil was submitted for necropsy to determine the cause of death as the owner has had multiple losses in the household. During necropsy, six specimens collected from the proximal area of the small intestine were incidentally found. All of the specimens recovered were identified as females containing spindle shaped eggs that measured 115 µm to 140 µm by 30 µm to 60 µm. (Images 1-3).
Case provided by: Tiana Sanders DVM, PhD Student, Texas A&M
Image 1: Eggs, 10x
Image 2: Caudal end, 10x
Image 3: Anterior end, 10x
Dentostomella translucida. Known as the “Gerbil Pinworm” is a threadworm found in the small intestine of gerbils. Females typically measure 1 cm to 3 cm in length and males are 0.6 cm to 1 cm. The identifying features of D. translucida include a mouth with no lips, five unequal teeth per esophageal sector, and a thick, translucent, transversely striated cuticle.
Typically, gerbils infected with D. translucida are asymptomatic and diagnosis may be difficult, as these parasites do not deposit their eggs around the perianal region.
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