Evaluation of a treatment protocol in dogs with intraspinal spirocercosis

Nimrod Asiag, Orit Chai, Sapir Yodovner, Marco Ruggeri, Kira Rapaport, Gad Baneth, Yaarit Nachum-Bial, Lilach Konstantin, Alicia Rojas, Ori Brenner, Yaron Bruchim, Merav H. Shamir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the efficiency and safety of a doramectin-based treatment protocol in dogs affected by intraspinal spirocercosis (Spirocerca lupi). ANIMALS Client-owned dogs that were admitted to a veterinary hospital during 2021 to 2022 with acute onset of neurological signs and diagnosed with intraspinal spirocercosis. All dogs underwent complete neurological evaluation, CSF analysis, PCR confirmation of CNS S lupi infection, and follow-up evaluation of at least 6 months. PROCEDURES Upon diagnosis, dogs were treated with doramectin at a dose of 400 μg/kg, SC, q 24 h for 3 consecutive days, followed by the same dose once a week for 6 weeks. Prednisone was administered at a dose of 1 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h and tapered every 3 days. Antimicrobial clindamycin was administered at a dose of 12.5 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h for 7 days to reduce the risk of secondary spinal cord infection. Short- and long-term outcomes (1 week to 56 months) were recorded. RESULTS 8 dogs fulfilled the inclusion criteria, 7 of which presented with neurological deficits and 1 with cervical pain. Initiation of treatment was associated with stopping the deterioration in 7 of 8 dogs. Seven dogs improved and 6 recovered ambulation. One dog was euthanized due to lack of improvement. Six of the recovered dogs were still ataxic on the last follow-up examination at 6 to 56 months. No adverse effects of the drug were noted. CLINICAL RELEVANCE Frequent administration of doramectin was found to be safe and effective in preventing neurological deterioration in dogs with intraspinal spirocercosis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

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