Parasitic Stomach Worm (Ollulanis) Infection Cats

Victoria Heuer
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Sep 29, 2009
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Ollulanis Tricuspis Infection in Cats

Ollulanis infection is a parasitic worm infection that occurs mainly in cats. It is caused by Ollulanus tricuspis, which spreads in the environment through the vomit of other infected hosts and goes on to take up residence in the stomach lining. Ollulanus tricuspis is a small nematode parasite which lays its eggs in the mucosal lining of the stomach wall, where it irritates the stomach, inducing vomiting in the cat and further spreading into the environment and into other hosts. These infections are commonly seen in colonies of cats, as well as in stray cats in urban areas that are heavily populated with cats and in cats that are frequently outdoors. Even captive cheetahs, lions, and tigers are susceptible to this infection.

The adult worms coil into the stomach's inner lining, causing ulcers, inflammation, and fibrosis (abnormal development of fibrous tissue).

Symptoms and Types

  • Vomiting (chronic)
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Death due to chronic stomach infection

Causes

Ollulanus tricuspis worm infection is usually transmitted through ingesting the vomit contents from an infected host.

Diagnosis

You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including background medical history, details of the onset of symptoms, your cat's usual routine, and any events that may have led to your cat's condition. After taking a complete history, your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical examination, including a complete blood profile, chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. The results of these laboratory tests may reveal dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea.

Your veterinarian will also examine your cat's feces and vomit contents for evidence of parasites. In this case, the ollulanis worm is digested if it enters into the digestive tract, so an analysis of the vomit is the only way your veterinarian can make a more conclusive diagnosis. Unless you are able to take a fresh sample of your cat's vomit with you to the veterinary clinic, your veterinarian will need to induce vomiting by giving your cat vomit inducing medications, or the doctor may decide to perform a stomach lavage, which gathers the contents of the stomach by washing them out.

An abdominal ultrasound may also reveal a thickening of the stomach wall due to chronic irritation and infection.

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