Physaloptera spp

Physaloptera spp are a parasitic spirurid stomach nematode of cats worldwide[1].

Reported species affecting cats are P. praeputialisP. pseudopraeputialis[2]P. brevispiculumP. rara[3] and P. pacitae[4].

The egg, containing the infective first stage-larva, is passed in the feces and eaten by a beetle larva. The larva develops to the infective third stage larva. The dog eats the beetle and the worm develops to the adult stage in the stomach. Eggs are laid in the stomach and pass out with the feces.Coprophagous beetles (intermediate) – larval stages[5].

Infection by Physaloptera spp worms is usually asymptomatic, but sometimes causes chronic vomiting, melena and anaemia[6].

Vomiting in cats infected with Physaloptera spp can be induced by a single worm[7].

Mebendazole, pyrantel pamoate, fenbendazole and ivermectin have anecdotally proven effective.

Fenbendazole appears to be effective at 10mg/kg orally every 12 hours for 5 days



  1. ↑ Gustafson BW (1995) Ivermectin in the treatment of Physaloptera preputialis in two cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 31(5):416-418
  2. ↑ Yutuc, LM (1953) Physaloptera pseudopraeputialis n. sp. – a stomach worm of the cat. (Nematoda: Physalopterinae). Philipp J Sci 82:221-226
  3. ↑ Santen, DR et al (1993) Efficacy of pyrantel pamoate against Physaloptera in a cat. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 29:53-55
  4. ↑ Tubangui, MA (1925) Metazoan parasites of Philippine domesticated animals. Philipp J Sci 28:11-37
  5. ↑ Hall, JA (2000) Diseases of the stomach. In: Ettinger, SJ & Feldman, EC, Textbook of veterinary internal medicine. 5th edition. WB Saunders, Philadelphia. pp:1154-1182
  6. ↑ Norsworthy, DG (2006) Stomach worms. In: The Feline Patient, 3rd Ed, pp:303-304
  7. ↑ Abu-Madi MA et al (2010) Intestinal helminths of feral cat populations from urban and suburban districts of Qatar. Vet Parasitol 168(3-4):284-292

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