Spirurid Worm Infection in Reptiles

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 2, 2008

Spirurid Worm

Reptiles can become infected with an internal parasite directly or through a carrier (i.e., other animals).

One such internal parasite, the Spirurid worm, infects multiple organs and systems in reptiles, including inside the stomach lining, body cavities, or blood vessels. It belongs to the Dracunculus species of endoparasites – parasites that live within another organism.

Symptoms and Types

Skin sores are the most common symptom for reptiles infected with the Spirurid worm. Other symptoms depend on the location of the parasite.


Mosquitos and ticks, or other similar intermediary organisms, can transfer the Spirurid worm from an infected animal to the healthy reptile. So if your reptile has been in captivity for a long time, its chances for getting infected with the Spirurid worm are low. Conversely, reptiles that are housed outdoors or live with many animals are more susceptible to the parasite infection.


Once diagnosed, the treatment of Spirurid worm is usually environmental in nature. You need to increase the reptile's habitat temperature to between 95 degrees Fahrenheit and 98 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees to 37 degrees Celsius) for one or two days. It is important to note: reptiles of colder climate may suffer from heat-related problems due to an increase in their environmental temperature.

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