Picture of giant, gross kidney worm that infected a dog but cats can get them too

This giant parasitic worm is gross and they do sometimes inhabit domestic cats! The size of it. It is hard to believe that it can fit into a small animal’s kidney. It must occupy the kidney completely.

This is just for the record as I had not heard of giant kidney worms until today. I felt compelled to publish the astonishing photo of a veterinarian holding up a 3.5 feet long kidney worm (Dioctophyme renale) aka the ‘giant kidney worm’ on the Adams County Pet Rescue Facebook page. The worm looks like it is nearer to 4 feet to me.

Enormous parastic worm, the giant kidney worm
Enormous parasitic worm, the ‘giant kidney worm’. Photo: Adams County Pet Rescue
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This particular worm had set up residence in one kidney of a medium sized dog, Kafi. She is a female worm and her partner, a male worm had also set up residence in the same kidney but he was a mere 14 inches long.

The kidney was understandable ‘obliterated’ and removed.

The operation cost $1200. The rescue received donations for the operation. Good old Wikipedia tell me that this species of parasitic worm makes its home in mammals eating fish. Dogs and mink are normally affected. I guess cats might be too, but rarely. Humans can have one too, most commonly in China. Removal of the kidney is the only treatment. Thank God for two kidneys.

You get it by eating raw fish which contains the eggs of the worm.


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