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Capillariasis in Dogs

Infection with Capillaria plica in Dogs

Capillariasis in dogs is a condition caused by the parasitic worm Capillaria plica. This worm primarily infects the urinary bladder and may also affect other areas of the urinary tract.

Symptoms and Types

In many cases, there are no observable symptoms, and diagnosis occurs incidentally. Nonetheless, dogs with significant infections may display the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Bloody urine
  • Straining during urination

Causes

Capillariasis is caused by the parasitic dog worm Capillaria plica. While its lifecycle isn’t entirely understood, it is known that worm eggs (ova) are expelled from infected dogs’ bodies through urine. These eggs undergo embryonic development and may be consumed by earthworms from the soil. Within the earthworm, the Capillaria worm matures to an infectious stage. Subsequently, when another dog ingests the earthworm, infection can occur.

Diagnosis

Capillariasis is diagnosed by identifying Capillaria eggs in the urine of the infected dog. These eggs have a distinct appearance: football-shaped with plugs at both ends.

Treatment

Treatment is typically not advised if the dog is asymptomatic. However, if signs of infection are evident, medications such as fenbendazole or ivermectin can be utilized to address the infection.

Living and Management

For dogs residing in kennels situated on soil, replacing the soil with an alternative substrate or surface (such as sand, gravel, or concrete) may decrease the incidence of infection by this type of dog worm.

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