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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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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."