Sonographic features of septic peritonitis caused by mesenteric ischemia due to spirocerca lupi aberrant migration in dogs

Marganit Yaffe*, G. Segev, D. Peery, A. Shipov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spirocercosis is caused by the nematode Spirocerca lupi (S. lupi). Aberrant nematode migration may occur to various organs. Acute mesenteric infarction-like syndrome leading to focal intestinal wall necrosis perforation and septic peritonitis has been described in association with S. lupi infection. The aims of this study were: 1) to describe the ultrasonographic appearance of focal intestinal necrosis secondary to arterial thrombosis caused by S. lupi migration, and 2) to assess the efficacy of ultrasonography in differentiating between septic peritonitis secondary to ischemic necrosis of the intestines and other causes of septic peritonitis. Dogs diagnosed with septic peritonitis due to S. lupi aberrant migration between years 2017-2020 were included in the study. Control dogs were selected based on a diagnosis of septic peritonitis due to gastrointestinal pathology other than S. lupi infection. Thirty-two dogs were included (16 dogs in each study group). Partial or complete intestinal layering loss was significantly more common in the S. lupi group compared with the control group [15/16 (94%) vs. 8/16 (50%), respectively P=0.015]. There was no difference in the occurrence of other ultrasonographic parameters, nor was there a difference in the small intestine wall thickness between the S. lupi and control groups [3.4 mm (range 1.8-5.0), vs. 3.1 mm (range, 2.0-50.0), respectively P= 0.89]. In conclusion, ultrasonographic appearance of S. lupi-associated peritonitis share similarities to peritonitis of other causes. Yet, it should be considered a differential diagnosis in animals presented with septic peritonitis associated with loss of normal intestinal layering on ultrasonography in endemic areas.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Journal of Veterinary Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Israel Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved.


  • Aberrant Nematode Migration
  • Intestinal Layering Loss
  • S. lupi
  • Septic Peritonitis


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