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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Identify The Critter

Here's one from Andrea that I'm hoping my readers can help with...

I'm a norwegian vet tech student currently working part of my internship at an animal clinic in Denmark. There are a lot of heart and lung worms now in the summer, so we do a lot of worm tests daily. Today I was microscoping a sample from a pug and didn't find any larvaes. But there was something else. Without the microscope I could see a lot of teeny tiny white "rice". I know they're not tape worm segments! Which seems to bee the only answer people get when they find white things in their dogs feces. I can't find anything on the internet that looks like it. I've attached a coulple of picture I took with my phone. None of our vets know what it is. There is nothing similar in our clinical parasitology book. In the microscope they look kind of like a butterfly pupa. They have spikes on their "body" and I can see a lot of, what I believe is blood vessels. They didn't move, but one of them "spit" out some grainy stuff. I'm so curious to find out what it is! Can you help me? 

I only took pictures using one of the lenses, so I don't have one where you can see the spikes.

I can't identify these, but I do agree that under the microscope they aren't tapeworms.  They look like they could be maggots of some sort, and I'm curious as to whether this sample came directly from the dog or if it was collected from the yard.  If it was the latter, then it could be environmental contamination and not a parasite.  Honestly, I can't think of any intestinal parasites that look like this, but I'm not sure if there are some in Europe that I don't know.

So, all of my international veterinary readers....any clues?


  1. Please don't be fooled by the last picture. I'm holding the sample up so you can'tlook at the meashures in the right corner. I believe the sample was taken off the ground, but it was done emmediately after the dog did its business and I always use the "inner" part of the sample. So I find it quite unlikely that this many maggots could crawl into the faeces in such a short time. But I don't know.

  2. Hey guys, just saw this post. A quick glance makes me think it's a fluke aka trematode(they have leaf-like shapes). There are many infectious trematodes (lung, liver, etc.)... might want to do a little research to see which kind might be excreted in the adult stage.

  3. I agree with the possibility of a fluke. Has a fecal been done off a loop? This would provide a more accurate analysis of the parasite.

  4. Don't discount the possibility of fly larvae. I have seen more than one dog with fly maggots infesting the rectum (as in a German Shepherd Dog with perianal fistulas or secondary to fecal impaction of the anal area). Sometimes you'll see a pet with what looks like 'dried pancake batter' on their fur and in a matter of hours, they will be crawling with maggots. It is usually in an area where there is a wound or pyodermatitis first. Nasty creatures!

  5. Another thought is flea larvae.

  6. My dog has these also. The Vet keeps saying tapeworms but the medication he is giving does not kill them. And I have never seen 1 flea on the dog or our home. I check his stool daily and they are still there. Under the microscope they do look identical to fly larvae.

  7. Has anyone figured out what these are, I just cleaned my cats litter and found the same thing! After 10 yrs I've never seen anything like This! They don't look like tapeworm under the microscope.


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