The Open Parasitology Journal

ISSN: 1874-4214 ― Volume 7, 2019

Antineoplastic Chemotherapy and its Effects on the Gastrointestinal Parasitism of the Dog

João Lory Costa1, Ana Margarida Alho1, Lídia Gomes1, Ana Eiras2, Telmo Nunes1, Gonçalo Vicente3, Patrícia Lopes2, Luís Madeira de Carvalho1, *
1 CIISA – Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon, Avenida da Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal;
2 Veterinary Hospital of Restelo, R. Gregório Lopes Lote 1513 – Loja E, 1400-195 Lisbon, Portugal
3 Small Animal Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon, Avenida da Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal



In veterinary medicine, an increasing incidence of neoplastic diseases has been followed by a growth in the use of chemotherapeutic drugs, often associated with opportunistic infections.


This study aimed to assess the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in dogs undergoing antineoplastic chemotherapy in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, as well as their evolution throughout the protocol and respective effects of chemotherapy on dogs’ lifestyle.


Faecal samples were collected in a group of 30 dogs being treated for neoplastic diseases under different protocols, previous (G1) and during chemotherapy (G2). In total, 60 samples were analysed by Willis flotation, natural sedimentation, Baermann technique and faecal smear stained with Ziehl-Neelsen. A survey to characterize animal lifestyles and deworming care were also conducted with dog’s tutors.


In total, there were two positive samples for the protozoan Giardia sp., one of which is in association with the nematode Toxascaris leonina. The two dogs only obtained positive results during chemotherapy (G2). An overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasitic diseases of 6.7%, in G2, and 0%, in G1, was obtained.


The low parasite prevalence has not allowed the evaluation of an association between the use of antineoplastic compounds and infections by gastrointestinal parasites. However, it was concluded that the studied groups were efficiently dewormed, as well as they did not experience any obvious changes in their parasitological component and its lifestyle.

Keywords: Anti-neoplastic chemotherapy, Dogs, Gastrointestinal parasites prevalence, Immunosuppression, Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 6
First Page: 96
Last Page: 105
Publisher Id: TOPARAJ-6-96
DOI: 10.2174/1874421401806010096

Article History:

Received Date: 31/7/2018
Revision Received Date: 18/10/2018
Acceptance Date: 30/10/2018
Electronic publication date: 30/11/2018
Collection year: 2018

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© 2018 Costa et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to the author at the CIISA – Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon, Avenida da Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal; Tel: 00351213602039; Fax: 00351213652815; E-mail:


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