A rescue dog from Walpole Island near London, Ontario was euthanitized due to heart failure subsequent to heart worm infection. The dog was posted to collect the heart and Dirofilaria immitis. Incidentally, these worms were also collected - three from the right kidney, which was obliterated, and four that were free in the abdomen. What are these?
Case provided by Dr. Tracy Satchell (in photograph), surgeon and Co-owner of East Village Animal Hospital in London, Ontario and shared with the NCVP by Dr. Andrew Peregrine, University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College.
These are Dicotophyme renale, commonly (and appropriately) called the giant kidney worm. This nematode parasitizes the kidneys (usually the right) and occasionally the peritoneal cavity of dogs, mink, and other domestic and wild animals, and requires an annelid primary intermediate host and a fish secondary intermediate host. Although infection does eventually lead to kidney destruction, animals are most often asymptomatic. The giant kidney worm is found world-wide, but cases are relatively rare in North America.
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