Adult of Dirofilaria repens in a dog with recurrent multiple subcutaneous nodular lesions
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- Giudice, E., Di Pietro, S., Gaglio, G. et al. Parasitol Res (2014) 113: 711. doi:10.1007/s00436-013-3699-2
Subcutaneous dirofilariosis is a zoonosis parasitizing the dog, transmitted by Culicidae mosquitoes. An increasing number of new cases have been reported both in dogs and in humans all over the world. The aim of this work was to describe an uncommon case of recurrent multiple subcutaneous nodules by Dirofilaria repens in a 2-year-old dog. Surgical excision of two nodules on both hind limbs revealed a single thread-like live nematode and multiple parasite fragments, respectively. The parasite was morphologically identified as an adult female of D. repens. Haematoxylin–eosin tissue sections of nodules revealed a diffuse pyogranulomatous angiocentric dermatitis with an intense eosinophilic infiltrate throughout the dermis. One month post-surgery, a new nodular lesion was detected on the right thigh and resolved spontaneously in a few weeks. During the following 3 months, two other nodules were briefly noted both on the right hip and on the left side of the chest. The dog was periodically treated with milbemycin oxime and praziquantel, starting a week before the appearance of the first nodule. Microfilariae were not detected neither in the bloodstream nor in fine-needle aspirates at any time, and the diagnosis was made only after surgery. Practitioners should consider dirofilariosis in the differential diagnosis of subcutaneous swellings, especially if they have a recurrent behaviour, previously described in humans but not in dogs.