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Parasit Vectors. 2012 Jun 25;5:128. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-128.

Mixed trichuroid infestation in a dog from Italy.

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  • 1Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, University of Teramo, Valenzano, Italy. dtraversa@unite.it



Capillaria aerophila, Capillaria boehmi and Trichuris vulpis are trichuroid nematodes affecting wild and companion animals all over the World. The canine intestinal whipworm, T. vulpis, is the most common and well- known in veterinary practice, whereas the respiratory C. aerophila and C. boehmi have been rarely reported in pets as a likely consequence of overlapping morphometric and morphological features of the eggs, which impair a correct etiological diagnosis.


In December 2011, a mixed infestation by T. vulpis, C. aerophila and C. boehmi was diagnosed in an asymptomatic dog living in central Italy. Morphometric and morphological findings and pictures of the eggs found at the copromicroscopic analysis are herein reported.


The present work demonstrates that when trichuroid eggs are found in a faecal sample from a dog, a careful morphological and morphometric analysis of individual parasite elements is mandatory. Key diagnostic features (i.e., size, wall surface pattern and aspects of plugs) should be carefully examined when eggs with overlapping shape and appearance are detected. In conclusion, given the importance in clinical practice of canine trichuroids and the zoonotic potential of C. aerophila, these nematodes should be included into the differential diagnosis of intestinal and respiratory parasitoses of dogs by a thorough microscopic analysis of all trichuroid ova present in microscopic fields.

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