Spirocercosis in Dogs in Israel

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Spirocerca lupi is a nematode causing spirocercosis disease that affects mostly carnivores and especially canidae. The life cycle of S. lupi includes a coprophagous beetle as an obligatory intermediate host and a variety of facultative paratenic hosts. In Israel, spirocercosis is considered to be a serious condition with a variety of clinical signs comprising a great risk to canine populations. The diagnosis at an early infective stage is unreliable and the vast majority of infected dogs are diagnosed only when the disease has advanced. In advanced stages of the disease, treatment is difficult and there is a high risk for complications. A study was carried out to compare the prevalence of S. lupi in the central region of Israel with a previous investigation and by that consequently try to estimate the efficacy of preventative treatment used nowadays in Israel. The study was done by the use of two different methods: looking for the infective larvae (L3) in the main intermediate host in Israel, Ontophagus sellatus, and searching for the eggs of S. lupi by performing flotation methods on faecal samples. Beetles and faecal samples were collected from four different locations in the winter and summer of 2017, 2018, and 2019. According to the literature review and collection of data from case studies, the prevalence of spirocercosis is increasing in Israel, despite the negative results from the dissections of beetles and faecal samples.

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