Pulmonary parasites in dogs

Several parasites can cause lung disease. Certain intestinal parasites, especially Toxocara canis, can cause transient pneumonia in young animals, usually those less than a few months of age, as the larvae migrate through the lungs. Infections with Dirofilaria immitis can result in severe pulmonary disease through inflammation and thrombosis. Oslerus osleri resides at the carina and mainstem bronchi of dogs. The other primary lung larvae that are most commonly diagnosed are Capillaria aerophila and Paragonimus kellicotti in dogs and cats and Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in cats.

Infection occurs as a result of the ingestion of infective forms, often within intermediate or paratenic hosts, that subsequently migrate to the lungs. An eosinophilic inflammatory response often occurs within the lungs, causing clinical signs in some, but not all, infected animals. The definitive diagnosis is made on the basis of the identification of the characteristic eggs or larvae in respiratory or fecal specimens.

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