Urinary capilariosis in dogs

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Tamara Ilić
Milan Rogošić
Bojan Gajić
Jelena Aleksić


Background. Urinary capillariosis in dogs is caused by Capillaria plica (syn. Pearsonema plica), a ubiquitous parasitic nematode resembling a string which belongs to the family Capillariidae. It parasitizes the feline, canine and musteline urinary bladder, and has been found in ureters and renal pelvises as well. C. plica has an indirect life cycle, with earthworms (Lumbricina) as intermediate hosts and domestic and wild animals (dog, cat, fox and wolf) as primary hosts. Infection of primary hosts occurs via ingestion of earthworms that contain infective first stadium (L1) larvae. An alternative path of infection for primary hosts is assumed to be ingestion of soil contaminated by infectious larvae derived from decomposed earthworms. Infection is mostly asymptomatic, but the clinical picture presents with pollakiuria, dysuria, haematuria, polydipsia, incontinence and/or fever.

Scope and Approach. The aim of this review is to highlight the importance of urinary capillariosis in dogs. Since the health care of wild and domestic carnivores is extremely important, this review provides information about the morphology, biology and epizootiology of the C. plica nematode. Due to the importance of this disease for clinicians and increased disease prevalence during the last decade in many countries, this review presents the latest information on the pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this infection.

Key Findings and Conclusions. Capillariosis is usually accidentally diagnosed due to the nonspecific clinical signs and there is no treatment of choice. Practitioners should consider latent urinary capillariosis infection as a possible cause while examining for urinary tract diseases.


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Ilić, T., Rogošić, M., Gajić, B., & Aleksić, J. (2021). Urinary capilariosis in dogs. Veterinarski Glasnik, 75(1), 20-32. https://doi.org/10.2298/VETGL191009003I


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