Lungworms are considered an emerging disease world-wide and over the past few years, the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (OVDL) at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has observed an increase in lungworm-positive submissions.  The  OVDL uses the Baermann technique to diagnose lungworm, and we have observed increases in Dictyocaulus in ruminants and Aelurostrongylus  and Oslerus (formerly Filaroides osleri)  in small animals.  Some of our noteworthy observations are:

  • In  a study conducted in collaboration with Dr. Emilo DeBess, Oregon Public Health Veterinarian eight percent of dog feces collected from selected city parks were positive for lungworm. 
  • The Dictyocaulus lungworm was found in camelids, which has not previously been reported in Oregon camelids.
  • Positive Baermann tests have risen from 3% in 2013 to 35% in 2014, and increased to 38% in 2015. 

Feces are submitted to our laboratory for both diagnoses of clinical disease and health check examinations.  The results, whether from a research study or from diagnostic cases, show a trend we felt should be brought to the attention of our clients.  Further, these observations emphasize the importance of routine testing for parasites as part as a proactive parasite control program for animals. The OVDL now offers a Small Animal Parasitology Panel

For more information on animal parasites and available tests for parasitism, contact the VDL. 

Want to read more?

Kutz SL, Hoberg EP, Magy J, Polley L, and Elkin B.  “Emerging” Parasitic infections in Artic Ungulates.  Integr. Comp Biol  2004 Vol. 44:109-118.

York EM, Creecy JP, Lord WD and Caire W.  Geographic Range Expansion for the Rat Lungworm in North America.  Emerging Infectious Diseases.  July 2015 Vol 21(7): 1234-1236.

The Kennel Club.  Pet Health Information: Lungworm.  Copyright © The Kennel Club Limited 2016.

Traversa D, Di Cesare A and Conboy G. Canine and feline cardiopulmonary parasitic nematodes in Europe:  emerging and underestimated.  Parsites and Vectors 2010 Vol. 3:62  22 pages.