Canine peritoneal larval cestodiasis (CPLC) is a poorly understood disease of dogs caused by asexual multiplication of larval Mesocestoides spp. tapeworms. In this study, we examined the descriptive statistics and survival characteristics of 60 dogs diagnosed with CPLC from 1989 to 2009. Clinically affected dogs presented with ascites (60%), anorexia/weight loss (42%), vomiting (23%), diarrhea (9%) and tachypnea (9%), while subclinical infections (22%) were incidentally detected, typically during ovariohysterectomy or neuter. Survival at 6 months and 1 year post-diagnosis were 72.3% and 60.5%, respectively, and survival was not affected by sex or age. Using Cox proportional hazard analyses, we determined that the most significant factors influencing survival were the severity of clinical signs at the time of diagnosis and application of an aggressive treatment strategy after diagnosis. Dogs that were not treated aggressively were >5 times more likely to die than dogs that were treated with a combination of surgery/lavage and high doses of fenbendazole.
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