Spirocerca lupi (S. lupi) is a nematode infecting carnivores in tropical and subtropical areas. Larvae migration trough gastric arteries and thoracic aorta wall ends at caudal esophagus, where the worms settle, form granulomatous nodules and reach maturity. However, several aberrant migration sites were documented. This is the first publication of extradural spinal canal spirocercosis of a dog in Hungary.
The aim is to present a case of aberrant S. lupi migration in spinal canal of a dog.
A 3-year-old, spayed female mixed breed dog was presented to the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest Teaching Hospital with paraparesis, decreased proprioception. Radiography, computed tomography and myelography were carried out, showing several calcified discs and an extradural compression at Th10–11 region. A diagnosis of discus hernia was made. During right-side hemilaminectomy of Th9–10 region, a 5-cm long S. lupi adult male was found next to a tumorous mass in the epidural area. Due to poor prognosis, euthanasia was carried out. Gross pathology revealed two more adult worms in the epidural area of Th8–11 vertebrae, and two granulomatous nodules in the caudal esophagus, with 4 more adult female S. lupi worms inside. The tumor was proved to be malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, possibly caused by aberrant migration of worms.
This is the first documented case of aberrant spinal canal migration of S. lupi in Hungary. The migration can cause tumor formation, which possibly happened here also.
Spirocercosis can be fatal in case of associated tumor formation, either in typical or atypical locations of migration.