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Subconjunctival Dirofilaria repens infection in a dog resident in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • D. Agapito
  • Nor Azlina Abdul Aziz
  • Tong Wang
  • E. R. Morgan
  • I. Wright
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-52
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Issue number1
Early online date4 Dec 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Oct 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2017
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2018


Dirofilaria repens infection was diagnosed in a 5-year-old female German shepherd crossbreed, originally from Romania but brought into the UK in February 2014. The dog presented with conjunctivitis in March 2014 and then again 2 months later with additional ocular and nasal mucopurulent discharge. Bacterial cultures from the nasolacrimal duct were negative for bacterial growth. The case was referred in August 2014 for ophthalmic examination, which revealed abnormalities in both eyes, especially the left. They included mild palpebral conjunctival hyperaemia and marked follicular conjunctivitis, as well as a dorsonasal bulbar conjunctival mass. Serum biochemistry was unremarkable and a conjunctival biopsy taken from the dorsonasal bulbar conjunctival mass revealed eosinophilic/lymphoplasmacytic conjunctivitis. At re-examination, nematodes were found in the area of the previous biopsy site and in the ventral palpebral conjunctival fornix. Polymerase chain reaction and sequencing confirmed these to be D. repens. Treatment with 10% imidacloprid and 2·5% moxidectin (Advocate Spot-On) was successful, and clinical signs resolved over a 6-week period. This case report indicates that D. repens infection should be considered as a possible aetiological cause of ocular lesions in dogs in the UK, especially those with a history of foreign travel. Implications for establishment and spread of D. repens in the UK are discussed.

    Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour



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