Ophthalmic Thelazia callipaeda infections: first feline and new canine imported cases in Germany
The first case of feline ocular Thelazia callipaeda infection and two new canine imported infections in West Germany are here described. The three animals had a history of recent travel to/from other countries. The young adult cat imported from Spain presented an intermittent unilateral ocular discharge. During in-depth ophthalmic examination, a single alive nematode was removed from the conjunctival compartment of the affected eye. Referring to the canine cases, an adult female dog originated
... rom Kenya presented epiphora and mucous whitish-grey discharge of the right eye. During flushing of the nasolacrimal duct two small, thin and long nematodes were removed. Furthermore, a male Borzoi racing dog with regular visit to racing tracks in different countries presented ocular mucous discharge. At ophthalmologic examination, two transparent-whitish vital nematodes were removed. All nematode specimens of the three cases were morphologically identified as adult T. callipaeda parasites. The animals were treated orally with milbemycin oxime (2.0 mg/kg; cat) or milbemycin oxime/praziquantel (0.5 mg/kg and 5.0 mg/kg; dogs) twice with 1-week interval resulting in complete resolution of symptoms. The repeated introduction of patent T. callipaeda-infected animals, especially from southern and eastern endemic countries, will ease the establishment of ophthalmic thelaziosis in Northern Europe. The male fruit fly, Phortica variegata, an intermediate host of T. callipaeda, is endemic within European countries. Considering the clinical and zoonotic relevance of ophthalmic thelaziosis, enhanced disease awareness of European medical and veterinarian doctors and in-depth eye examination for proper detection of T. callipaeda are crucial for appropriate anthelmintic treatments and to limit spreading of the infection.