A 17-week-old 14.4-kg (31.7-lb) female German Shepherd Dog from Missouri with a history of multiple intermittent episodes of vomiting and diarrhea underwent exploratory celiotomy.
At the time of surgery, the dog was bright, alert, and responsive, with a tender abdomen and palpable mesenteric lymph nodes. Hematologic data revealed mild leukocytosis, mild hypoproteinemia, and mild hypoalbuminemia. Moderate petechiation of the jejunal serosa and prominent mesenteric lymph nodes, but no palpable obstructions, were found during surgery. Jejunal and lymph node biopsies were performed; histologic examination revealed multiple segments of adult cestodes up to 700 μm long in the jejunum. Segments had a scolex and contained approximately 30- to 35-μm-diameter ova, morphologically compatible with Echinococcus spp. Fecal flotation revealed numerous proglottids and ova similar to those recognized histologically. Results of PCR assays confirmed Echinococcus multilocularis of E4 haplotype (a European strain).
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
Praziquantel (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], SC, once) was administered after surgery; treatments after hospital discharge included praziquantel (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, once). No proglottids or ova were observed by fecal flotation after the treatments. The dog remained healthy without gastrointestinal signs 1 year later.
The dog of this report had no travel history outside the state of Missouri. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of intestinal E multilocularis infection in a pet dog in the contiguous United States and first detection of a European strain of E multilocularis in this country. Findings suggested possible establishment of a European strain of this zoonotic pathogen in the contiguous United States.