Leeds vets treat dog with extremely rare eye worms

A Leeds veterinary practice has treated a dog with eye worms, an incredibly rare parasitic condition which is not normally seen in the UK.

The condition, known as thelazia, was diagnosed at Linnaeus-owned Abbey House Veterinary Hospital in Morley.

It’s thought the border collie, called Ben, could have picked up the parasite in Italy, Spain or France, where he had been travelling with his owner Duncan Nicholson from Methley.

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James Baker, clinical director and veterinary surgeon at Abbey House, said: “There have only been a few reports about thelazia. I don’t think any of our vets have ever seen a case, I certainly never have until now.”

Leeds vets treat dog with extremely rare eye worms.Leeds vets treat dog with extremely rare eye worms.
Leeds vets treat dog with extremely rare eye worms.

The very rare condition is transmitted via flies that feed on eye secretions of dogs, picking up eggs from one dog and passing infective larvae on to another, where they mature into worms, which typically live underneath the third eyelid on the surface of the eye.

Ben needed to be sedated to physically remove the worms, which was followed up with a worming tablet.

James added: “There was quite some inflammation in the conjunctival tissues, but no apparent corneal damage and we expect Ben to make a full recovery.”

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Abbey House Veterinary Hospital is open 24 hours a day and is based in Morley, Leeds. It also has practices in Rothwell, Cleckheaton, Batley, Kippax and Halton. For more information visit www.abbeyvetspets.co.uk.

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