I tried to think of a more clever title, but I really can’t. I mean, what is better than straight up GIANT. KIDNEY. WORMS.?! Otherwise known as Dioctophyme renale. Or D. Renale. Or, y’know, just stick with GIANT. KIDNEY. WORMS.
I don’t even know what to say. Giant Kidney Worms are like the Holy Grail of veterinary medicine, depending who you talk to. They’re not overly common, and they’re the stuff legends are made of.
You know what? I’m just going to go straight to the video from OVC.
So, how awesome is that?! THE MOST AWESOME!
Most often found INCIDENTLY when someone is just doing a routine spay, and they think they’ve grabbed a loop of small intestine, but then it has a FACE! WOAH! I’m totally serious. It was a complete fluke that we found them in Rosie, the dog featured in that video. She was a teaching dog getting a routine checkup and BAM! There be worms!
These worms aren’t in Newfoundland, so I figured I’d never be so lucky. BUT THEN!
So this dog comes in to be neutered. Owner makes mention of occasional red urine. So I request a urinalysis. Long story short. . . WORM EGGS! Giant kidney worm eggs are very distinct, so we knew what we had here and I WAS OVER THE MOON! Seriously. I can’t even describe how excited I was!
Had some talks with the owners, mentally prepared myself for the SURGERY OF MY CAREER, got an assistant surgeon who was just about as ridiculously excited as I was, and we were off to the races!
Here’s a run down of how it went down: We began exploring the abdomen, and having our minds BLOWN by the size of the kidney the worms were housed in (the right kidney). . . and as I was feeling around that very large kidney, BAM! WORM! I squealed, I did a little dance, my life was MADE!
We ended up finding 2 live worms free in the abdomen, and 1 dead one. We removed the one kidney, which was potentially the most stressful thing of life… the capsule around the kidney was fused right to the vena cava (major vessel, do not want to cut..) !!!! Tricksy stuff, but we pulled it off! There were SEVEN worms in the kidney! AMAZING!
The dog is best kind now, well and wormy free! And I have a lovely giant kidney worm in a wine bottle in my kitchen. Is some pretty!
Very likely the first time ever giant kidney worms have been removed in Newfoundland. Potentially the one and only time. I’m the envy of many of my classmates, and many of my colleagues in general. The only downside? I’m only 2 years into my career . . . HOW DO I TOP THIS?!