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Vet Parasitol. 2002 Oct 16;109(1-2):65-73.

Evaluation of doramectin for the treatment of experimental canine spirocercosis.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, 76100 Rehovot, Israel.


The nematode Spirocerca lupi is primarily a parasite of dogs, which causes typical lesions of esophageal nodular granulomas, aortic aneurysms and spondylitis. In order to evaluate the therapeutic effect of doramectin on experimental canine spirocercosis, seven beagle dogs experimentally infected with 40 infectious S. lupi larvae (L(3)) were treated with doramectin. Treatment was commenced following endoscopic visualization of esophageal granulomas, and typical S. lupi eggs were detected in the feces. The treatment protocol included six treatments of doramectin (400 microg/kg subcutaneously) at 2 weeks intervals, followed by monthly injections until the disappearance of the esophageal granulomas or the end of the study (768 days post-inoculation). Eggs could not be found on fecal examinations 3-10 days after the first or second doramectin treatment. In addition, a gradual decrease in size of granulomas was noticed in all seven dogs during the course of the study. Esophageal granulomas had completely resolved in six of the seven dogs between day 35 and day 544 post-initial doramectin treatment, by day 35 in one dog (after three treatments), by day 43 in two dogs (after four treatments), by day 98 in one dog (after seven treatments), by day 460 in one dog (after 18 treatments) and by day 544 in another dog (after 21 treatments). In one dog, remnants of S. lupi granulomas could still be seen 544 days post-initiation of treatment with doramectin. Multiple subcutaneous injections of doramectin (400 microg/kg) were shown to be effective and safe in the treatment of canine spirocercosis.

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