Subconjunctival dog heartworm

Elaine W Chong, Harsha Sheorey, Cheng Hean Lo, David M Spratt and Enrique Graue-Hernández
Med J Aust 2010; 193 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03845.x
Published online: 2 August 2010

To the Editor: In February 2009, a 68-year-old man presented to the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital within hours of developing an itchy, red left eye. The patient, who was otherwise healthy, lived in suburban Melbourne, usually with his pet dogs, but the last of his dogs had recently died. The patient was unsure if all his dogs had been dewormed regularly because he spends about 6 months a year in Europe. General inspection of the eye suggested subconjunctival haemorrhage. However, slit-lamp examination showed a mobile, tightly coiled structure within the subconjunctival blood. It grew increasingly agitated with higher slit-lamp light intensity (Box, A). Assessment of the patient’s visual acuity and the anterior and posterior chambers of the eyes was unremarkable. Blood tests revealed a positive filarial serology and eosinophilia.

  • Elaine W Chong1
  • Harsha Sheorey2
  • Cheng Hean Lo3
  • David M Spratt4
  • Enrique Graue-Hernández1

  • 1 Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dandenong Hospital (Southern Health), Melbourne, VIC.
  • 4 Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT.



We thank our patient for consenting to have details of his case published.


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