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Keywords:

  • canine;
  • dog;
  • eye;
  • ocular thelaziosis;
  • Portugal;
  • Thelazia callipaeda

Abstract

Ocular thelaziosis caused by Thelazia callipaeda is a vector-borne disease affecting dogs and humans. We report a case of thelaziosis in a 10-year-old German Shepherd dog from Vila Real city (Portugal). Ophthalmological examination revealed bulbar and nictitating membrane conjunctival hyperemia with serous discharge noted at the left medial canthus and blepharitis. Schirmer tear test value and intraocular pressure were within the reference ranges in both eyes, and biomicroscopy showed a transparent cornea without lesions or edema and no inflammatory reaction in the anterior chamber. No funduscopic alterations were detected by direct and indirect ophthalmoscopic examination. When testing the nasolacrimal patency, two white worms were observed on the caruncle conjunctival surface with undulating movements that increased with light intensity. In total, eight worms were collected and morphologically identified as T. callipaeda (seven mature females and one male). PCR amplification of a 689 sequence of partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 target gene confirmed the nematodes were T. callipaeda, haplotype 1. The dog was treated with a single subcutaneous injection of ivermectin combined with additional topical application of ophthalmic fusidic acid drops and oral milbemycin oxime. One week after treatment, no worms were detected and the ocular clinical signs resolved. The most recent reports of canine thelaziosis in the Iberian Peninsula should alert local health authorities to the zoonotic potential of infestation with T. callipaeda, which should be included in the differential diagnosis of conjunctivitis in dogs and humans.