First report of a fatal autochthonous canine Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in Belgium
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Canine angiostrongylosis is considered as an emergent disease in Europe and Canada. A fatal case of Angiostrongylus vasorum infection is described in a four and a half month old puppy born in Belgium. The dog was presented with marked neurological disorders, body weight loss, a profound weakness and mild respiratory signs. The dog was given antibiotics and mucolytic compounds with very little improvement and consequently was referred to a specialist for additional examinations. As the general condition of the dog was rapidly declining, the animal was euthanized shortly after on its owners' request and a necropsy was carried out. Extensive gross pulmonary lesions were observed and histopathological examination revealed the presence of numerous larvae with morphology compatible with A. vasorum. Larvae were also found in the product of a bronchoalveolar lavage but fecal material was not examined. The presence of A. vasorum circulating serum antigen was demonstrated through ELISA; additionally an A. vasorum specific PCR was performed on brain material and yielded a positive result. This case confirms that the clinical diagnosis of canine angiostrongylosis can be very challenging especially when respiratory signs are absent or very mild such in the present case. This is the first reported case of canine angiostrongylosis in Belgium.
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