kidney worm


Removal of Giant Kidney Worms from Dog (by ThunderBayVet)

So fun fact about myself, I love parasites.  So I thought I would share this fun video with you all about a Kidney Worm removal from a dog.

Some little knowledge about the kidney worm, it is from the Order Dioctophymatida, family Dioctophymatidae.  Dioctophyme renale, aka Kidney worm is a giant nematode.  The females can grow as large as 100 cm long!

Their life cycle is pretty simple.  The kidney worms lemon shaped, thick walled eggs take between 2 weeks to 3 months to embryonate in water (temperature dependent). The first stage juveniles hatch when ingested by an aquatice oligochaete annelid Lumbriculus variegatus

External image

^ looks like that.

Once inside the annelid, they enter its blood supply where they mature into third stage juveniles.  Once the annelid is ingested, the juvenile kidney worms move to the kidney of their new host.  If, however, the annelid is not consumed by a definitive host and instead eaten by a fish or a frog, the juveniles will encycte in the paratenic host’s muscles until the animal is consumed by a definitive host.  

And this is how dogs, as well as most large mammals get infected with the kidney worm, they ingest fish. Canids, bears, mustelids, as well as humans are especially susceptible to kidney worms because of their diets. However, cows, horses, and pigs can become infected by accidentally ingesting an annelid.

Like all things, infection can be avoided by properly cooking your fish, and only drinking purified water.