Meet Charley and his icky worm! (not for the faint at heart)


We all know that pets get parasites. It is talked about all the time. Roundworms, hookworms, heartworms, etc. But more recently we had a new worm to us. Although we know it is out there, it is rare to have an actual case.

Let’s start at the beginning though.

Meet Charley. A happy, go-lucky, black Labrador Retriever. At just 2 years of age, he has had a wonderful childhood. Doing all of the things labs like to do. Running, playing, swimming and eating everything off of the ground. Including dead fish, frogs and anything else he can put in his mouth. Typical Lab behaviour, right?

But in this case, he ate the wrong fish or frog!

Charley presented to us with what seemed liked an everyday bladder infection. Especially common in dogs that spend time in water. His observant owners noticed him drinking and peeing more frequently and that his urine seemed a bloody colour. Urine testing was done which showed a large number of white and red blood cells. Consistent with a bladder infection. Charley was placed on antibiotics with a re-check booked for 10 days afterwards to make sure it had completely cleared up. At that time, a repeat urinalysis was run and although the infection seemed to have cleared up, he still had bloody urine. At this point, we x-rayed Charley to see if he perhaps had bladder stones. This would be rare in a dog so young. The x-rays revealed no abnormalities!

Hmm? So what was causing Charley’s bloody urine? Charley’s owners opted to be referred to a specialist.

At the specialist’s office, they performed an ultrasound and low-and-behold the culprit was found. A Dioctophyme renale otherwise known as the  Giant Kidney Worm!! Unfortunately for Charley, the treatment for this is to remove the affected kidney. Charley underwent surgery and is recovering slowly. Life with one kidney should not cause any further problems. But as for Charley, no more fish for him!


Kidney worm 2