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'Tongue worm' reported in imported dogs
dog
'Veterinary practitioners should be alert to the possibility of L serrata, particularly in imported dogs.'
Vets advised to be vigilant for potentially zoonotic parasite
 
Parasitologists are warning vets to be alert for cases of tongue worm (Linguatula serrata) in the UK after a number of recent cases in stray dogs imported from Romania.

The parasite is potentially zoonotic and there have been reports of rare human cases involving parasite localisation in the eye.

Writing in Vet Record (179, 10), a group of UK experts advised the uptake of strict hygiene measures for handling pets if the parasite is confirmed or suspected. Eggs can be expelled from the mouth, nose or faeces, and may contaminate the pet's coat.

The authors wrote: 'Veterinary practitioners should be alert to the possibility of L serrata, particularly in imported dogs, and should treat appropriately and provide the correct advice to owners.'

Infected dogs may be asymptomatic or have mucopurulent nasal discharge, epistaxis and sneezing. The adult parasite is an elongated tongue shape and large in size - males are up to 20mm and females 30-130mm long. It is found in the nasal cavities or sinuses in dogs, foxes and other canids.

Animals become infected by eating raw offal from infected intermediate hosts, such as sheep, goats, cattle, rabbits and horses. The parasite has previously been reported in foxes in the UK, but the recent cases were in dogs imported from Romania, where dogs are commonly fed raw meat.

Treatment may involve nasal flushing with warm salty water to help detach the parasites. Screening of eggs in nasal flushes could also be carried out to identify them. Surgical removal may not be appropriate as the parasites can attach to the sinuses.

In Romania, macrocyclic lactones are used for treatment. There is also a report of parasite expulsion after milbemycin oxime treatment in a dog.  

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”