ISSN 2398-2950      

Physaloptera infection

ffelis

Synonym(s): Phyalopterosis; Stomach worm


Introduction

  • Physaloptera spp generally occur in the stomach of cats and dogs, and attach firmly to the mucosa.
  • There are three species: Physaloptera raraPhysaloptera felidis (stomach and duodenum), Physaloptera praeputialis (stomach only).
  • Physaloptera spp are a rare cause of chronic vomiting in dogs and are rare in cats.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Physaloptera spp.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Outside animals that eat beetles, crickets, cockroaches, snakes, frogs or mice are predisposed.

Pathophysiology

  • The life cycle of Physaloptera species is indirect and requires an intermediate host (beetles, cockroaches, crickets). The intermediate host ingests the eggs laid by infected definitive hosts (carnivorous animals). In the intermediate host the eggs hatch to first stage larvae, migrate to the outer layers in the intestines, encyst, and then most become second-stage larvae in 11 to 16 days. In another 12 days they molt to infective 3rd stage larvae.
  • Paratenic (frogs, snakes, mice) or definitive (carnivores such as a dog or cat) may become infected by ingesting the intermediate host. Dogs and cats may also become infected by eating the paratenic hosts.
  • Larvae develop into adults, attach to the hosts gastric or duodenal mucosa and lay eggs in 56 to 83 days. The eggs are passed in the feces of the definitive hosts.
  • Adult worms attach to gastric or duodenal mucosa and feed on blood and tissue components. The attachment cause increased mucus production, erosions, gastritis and/or enteritis. There may be lymphocytic-plasmacytic infiltration, and decreased gastrointestinal motility due to inflammation. The parasites do not migrate through the gastric or intestinal mucosa.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Campbell K L & Graham J C (1999) Physaloptera infection in dogs and cats. Compend Cont Educ 21 (4), 299-314 VetMedResource.
  • Thiesen S K, LeGrange S N, Johnson S E et al (1998) Physaloptera infection in 18 dogs with intermittent vomiting. JAAHA 34 (1), 74-78 PubMed.
  • Gustafson B W (1995) Ivermectin in the treatment of Physaloptera preputialis in two cats. JAAHA 31 (5), 416-418 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Simpson K (2005) Diseases of the stomach. In: Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Ettinger S J & Feldman E C (ed). Elsevier, Saunders, St Louis, Missouri. pp 1310-1331.

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