Spirocercosis in dogs in Israel: A retrospective case-control study (2004-2009)

Itamar Aroch*, Alexander Markovics, Michal Mazaki-Tovi, Sharon Kuzi, Shimon Harrus, Einat Yas, Gad Baneth, Maya Bar-El, Tali Bdolah-Abram, Gilad Segev, Eran Lavy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This case-control retrospective study (years 2004-2009) investigated the epidemiological, clinical, and diagnostic test findings of dogs with esophageal spirocercosis (ES) presented to the Hebrew University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (HUVTH) and coproscopy-positive dogs at the Kimron Veterinary Institute (KVI), Israel. It included 133 dogs with ES and 133 negative controls diagnosed at the hospital, and 343 dogs diagnosed at the KVI. The average incidence of ES at the HUVTH was 22.5/year, and the percentage of spirocercosis cases was stable at both institutions (HUVTH, 0.67-1.23%; KVI, 5-8%). Dogs aged >5 years old had 100-fold likelihood to be infected compared to dogs aged ≤1 year of age (P<0.001). Mean body weight (P=0.0004), proportion of Retrievers (P=0.002) and sporting breed dogs (P=0.006) were higher, while proportion of toy breeds (P=0.004) was lower in the ES group compared to the control group. The proportion of cases from Greater Tel-Aviv decreased (P=0.002), while that of those from Judea and Jerusalem increased (P=0.01) compared to the 1990s. Spirocercosis occurred in 22 dogs despite past prophylactic avermectin treatment. Vomiting and regurgitation were the most common clinical signs of ES. Coproscopy was S. lupi-positive in 33/60 dogs (55.0%). The median number of esophageal nodules was two (range 1-8), with a median diameter of 3.5. cm (range 1.0-11.0). Malignant esophageal lesion transformation was confirmed in 29 dogs (22%). Despite preventive attempts, spirocercosis has spread in Israel over time, compared to previous findings, raising questions about the efficacy of the currently accepted prophylactic protocol is incompletely effective.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)234-240
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 30 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Doramectin
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophageal neoplasia
  • Ivermectin
  • Spirocerca lupi


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