Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mostly Barber Pole Worm

Three pooled fecal samples were collected during this year's test to determine the type of worms that were infecting the goats. For the first sample collected on May 30, at least one sample was collected from each consignment.  For samples collected on July 3 and July 31, samples were collected from random goats.

Haemonchus contortus, better known as the barber pole worm, is a blood-sucking parasite that attaches itself to the lining of the abomasum. It causes anemia, bottle jaw, and sometimes death. Haemonchus is the primary parasite affecting sheep and goats in warm, moist climates -- and this test! 

Trichostrongylus worms infect the  abomasum or small intestines. Teladorsagia (previously Ostertagia) or the medium brown stomach worm, is another abomasal worm. Trichostrongylus and Teladorsagia infections are usually secondary to barber pole worm infections and additive in effect. The primary symptoms are scours and weight loss.

It is not possible to differentiate strongyle-type worms at the egg stage. The eggs must be hatched, and the species is identified by examining the larvae. The larvae ID was done by Dr. Dahlia O'Brien's lab at Virginia State University.