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Spirocerca lupi is a nematode infecting Canidae. It infects the canine oesophagus and promotes the formation of an inflammatory fibroblastic nodule that progresses to sarcoma in approximately 25 per cent of cases (Wandera 1976, Dvir and others 2001). Histologically, the tumours are classified as fibrosarcoma, osteosarcoma or anaplastic sarcoma (Ranen and others 2004). S lupi-associated osteosarcoma is more aggressive than non-S lupi-associated osteosarcoma (Kirpensteijn and others 2002, Dvir and others 2010). In areas where spirocercosis is not present, malignant neoplasms of the oesophagus are extremely rare (Ridgway and Suter 1979) and oesophageal sarcoma is almost nonexistent; therefore, spirocercosis can be considered the major cause of malignant oesophageal sarcoma in the dog.
Tumours of this kind have the potential to grow to over 10 cm in length and can present as sessile or pedunculated (Fig 1). Affected dogs may suffer from oesophageal obstruction (Fig 2) and pain, and …