Spirocercosis-associated esophageal sarcomas in dogs: A retrospective study of 17 cases (1997-2003)

Eyal Ranen*, Eran Lavy, Izhac Aizenberg, Shmuel Perl, Shimon Harrus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Seventeen client-owned dogs diagnosed with spirocercosis-associated esophageal sarcomas were retrospectively reviewed. The most common clinical signs noticed were vomiting and/or regurgitation (94%), lethargy and depression (59%), pyrexia and anorexia (41% each). Leukocytosis (82%) and microcytic hypochromic anemia (30%) were the most common hematological abnormalities. Caudal thoracic masses were demonstrated on survey radiographs of 13/15 of the dogs and thoracic spondylitis was detected in 12/15 dogs. Spirocerca lupi eggs were detected in 2/8 patients and worms were demonstrated on 1/11 at necropsy. Ten cases underwent surgical attempt to remove the tumors. In six of them partial esophagectomy (PE) was performed and all of them survived the immediate postoperative hospitalization. Five of the cases that underwent PE also received chemotherapy after surgery (doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Upjohn)) with an average survival time of 267 days. The histopathological results of the esophageal tumors were osteosarcoma (9), fibrosarcoma (5) and undifferentiated sarcoma (1). In areas endemic to spirocercosis, regurgitation or vomiting in dogs and microcytic hypochromic anemia and neutrophilia warrant ruling out esophageal sarcomas. Proper surgical treatment could prolong the dogs' lifespan for months, and improve their quality of life.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)209-221
Number of pages13
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2004


  • Dog
  • Esophagus
  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Spirocercosis
  • Surgery


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