Spirometra mansonoides

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Platyhelminths

Class: Cestoda

Order: Pseudophyllidea

Family: Diphyllobothriidae

Genus: Spirometra

Species: mansonoides

Spirometra mansonoides



Adult Parasite:

The adult worms are pinkish in color and gravid proglottids have a tightly coiled uterus full of brown eggs. (See image on left.)



  • Definitive - Dogs, cats, raccoons and bobcats.
  • 1st Intermediate - Copepod.
  • 2nd Intermediate or paratenic - Amphibians, reptiles (especially the water snake Natrix), birds, and mammals.


Life Cycle:

The egg hatches in water releasing a ciliated, free-swimming coracidium. A copepod ingests the coracidium and it develops into a procercoid in the body cavity. When a vertebrate other than a fish ingests the infected copepod, the procercoid migrates to the muscles or connective tissue and develops to the pleurocercoid stage. If the second intermediate host is eaten by another animal, the pleurocercoid migrates to the muscles or connective tissue of the new (paratenic) host. When the host containing the pleurocercoid is ingested by a definitive host the worm attaches to the small intestine wall and begins to develop proglottids. The prepatent period is 10 to 30 days. Eggs are released from the gravid proglottids and pass out in the feces.

Site where adult parasite is found in host:

Small intestine.


Diagnostic Stage:

  • Proglottid - if they happen to pass in the feces.
  • Eggs - 25 µm by 30 µm.


Spirometra mansonoides eggs


Common Diagnostic Test:

  • Fecal flotation - eggs can sometimes be seen on fecal flotation but they don't always float.
  • Fecal sedimentation.


Clinical Signs:

Usually asymptomatic in the dog and cat.



Drugs (Click on the name of the drug for more information):



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