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Therapeutic Management of Canine Diphyllobothriosis - A Clinical Study of Thirteen dogs.


Diphyllobothrium latum commonly known as 'broad tapeworm' or 'fish tapeworm' occurs in small intestine of fish eating mammals such as man, dog, cat, pig, polar bear, etc. (Soulsby, 1982). It is endemic in Palearctic and Nearctic areas: in the freshwater lakes and streams of North America and Great Lakes, as well as Mediterranean and Baltic seas (Roberts and Janovy, 2000). Life cycle of the parasite is indirect, involving two intermediate hosts, the first is a crustacean of genera Diaptomus or Cyclops in which procercoid stage develops and second is a fresh water fish which harbour plerocercoid stage of the tapeworm. Infection to definitive host is by ingestion of plerocercoid infected raw or inadequately cooked fish.

In India, D. latum infection in dogs have been reported by few research workers including those from Kerala (Jacob and Pillai, 1991), Madhya Pradesh (Roy et al ., 1999), Maharashtra (Raut et al ., 2013) etc.

History and Diagnosis

Twelve adult dogs (local breeds) and an eight months old male Dalmatian pup from Durg and Raipur districts of Chhattisgarh were presented with common history of diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, anorexia and gradual weakness. Clinical examination revealed normal temperature, pulse and respiration but their mucous membrane was pale coloured. Physical examination of the animals revealed tapeworm segments protruding out through the anus of seven out of thirteen infected dogs (Fig. 1). The faecal samples were collected, processed and examined for presence of eggs. The eggs were subjected to micrometry.

The tapeworm segments were yellowish grey in colour with dark and central markings (Fig. 2). On staining, the segments using borax carmine and examining under microscope, presence of rosette shaped uterus with numerous eggs at the centre and uterine pore situated mid ventrally just behind the genital pore was revealed in each segment. The faecal samples showed presence of light brown ovoid eggs having operculum at one end (Fig. 3). The eggs measured 57-71 um by 40-50 um and were confirmed as eggs of D. latum as per Scholz et al . (2009). All these examinations lead to confirmation of Diphyllobothrid infection in dogs.

Treatment and Discussion

The dogs were treated with single dose of Praziquantel (Droncit (a)) @ 35mg/kg b. wt. orally along with supportive therapy viz. inj. Vitamin [B.sub.1], [B.sub.6] and [B.sub.12] (Tribivetb 1-2 ml, I/M) for five days. The faecal samples were examined for presence of eggs on day 1, 7, 15, 21 and 30 post-treatment. The mean faecal eggs per gram were 2560 pre-treatment reduced to zero in subsequent periods. On day one after administration of Praziquantel, only disintegrated pieces of tapeworms were observed in stool. This was based on the mechanism of action of Praziquantel which not only cause paralysis of worm and damages it's tegument but also allows partial/ complete digestion of worms by host's proteolytic enzymes (Sandhu and Rampal, 2006). The animals recovered completely by two weeks.

Man serves as the principal definitive host for D. latum, hence the disease is considered to be zooanthroponosis. The dogs may serve as carriers of infection, so the infected dogs should be periodically treated and they should be restrained from feeding raw or improperly cooked fish. They should not be allowed to scavenge dead fish. Precautions should also be taken against raw human sewage reaching fresh water lakes in endemic areas.


Jacob, L. and Pillai, K.M. (1991). Incidence of parasitic infection in dogs in Thrissur, Kerala. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. 22: 149-50.

Raut, M.M., Chavan, C.A., Narkhede, H.P., Kolte, S.W. and Taksande, P.E. (2013). Diphyllobothrium latum and Demodex canis infection in a dog from Nagpur (M.S.)- A Case Report. J. Vet. Parasitol. 27: 66-67.

Roberts, L. and J. Janovy. (2000). Foundations of Parasitology, sixth edi-tion. USA: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..

Roy, S., Pal, S. and Maiti, S.K. (1999). Tancit against canine diphyllobothriosis- A case history. Indian Vet. J. 76: 1005-06.

Sandhu, H.S. and Rampal, S. (2006). Essentials of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Kalyani Publishers. p. 1270-71.

Scholz, T., Garcia, H.H., Kuchta, R. and Wicht, B. (2009). Update on the Human broad tapeworm (Genus Diphyllobothrium), including clinical relevance. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 22: 146-60.

Soulsby, E.J.L. (1982). Helminths, Arthropods and Protozoa of Domesticated Animals. 7th ed. Bailliere Tindall, London. p. 129-30.

Savita Bisen (1), K.R Baghel (2) and Kiran Choudhary (3)

Department of Veterinary Parasitology

College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry

Chhattisgarh Kamdhenu Vishwavidyalaya (CGKV)


Durg - 491001(Chhattisgarh)

(1.) Assistant Professor and Corresponding author.


(2.) Assistant Professor

(3.) Veterinary Assistant Surgeon, Government Veterinary Hospital, Bairang Bazar, Raipur.

(a) - Brand of Bayer India Ltd., Mumbai

(b) - Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad
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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Bisen, Savita; Baghel, K.R; Choudhary, Kiran
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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