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Abstract

Leeches are bloodsucking hermaphroditic parasites that attach to tissues using two muscular suckers, ingest large amounts of blood and may cause severe anaemia in the host. Two four-month-old mixed-breed dogs (one bitch and one male) were referred with anorexia, retching, hypersalivation and bleeding from the oral cavity. On physical examination, two live leeches were detected on the ventral aspect of the tongue of the bitch and one in a similar position in the male. The leeches were gently detached and removed using Adson tissue forceps after applying vinegar over the area. Microcytic hypochromic anaemia was detected in the bitch and mild leukocytosis in the dog. One month after treatment both animals were re-examined and a complete blood count was normal. Given that infestation with leeches as described here is associated with contaminated water, the use of clean and safe drinking water is recommended to avoid such diseases.