Friday, July 24, 2015

70 Percent Haemonchus

The results of the first larvae culture were 70% Haemonchus contortus, 15% Trichostrongylus/Ostertagia, and 15% other.

Haemonchus contortus, better known as the barber pole worm, is a blood-sucking parasite that causes anemia and bottle jaw. Sub-clinical infection can affect performance. Haemonchus contortus is the primary parasite that affects small ruminant in warm, moist climates.

H. contortus has always comprised the majority of worm infection at the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. The FAMACHA© system, which assesses the level of anemia based on a color eye chart, is used to determine the need for deworming.

Trichostrongylus and Ostertagia (also known as Teladosagia) are closely related to H. contortus; however, they are usually of secondary importance. It is more difficult to pinpoint their direct effects, as they cause symptoms that have numerous other causes, e.g.scours (diarrhea), weight loss, loss of body condition, etc. Dag scoring, body condition scoring, and the "Happy Factor" can be used to determine the need for deworming. The Happy Factor is a live weight gain decision support system.

The Other category includes mostly oesophagostomum and nematodirus. Oesophagostomum (nodule worm) is seldom a problem in US. Nematodirus is more of a problem in the UK and Europe. Both are more common to wet, cold climates.

Larvae ID was done by Dr. Dahlia O'Brien's lab at Virginia State University.  Additional pooled fecal samples will be collected at the mid-point and end of the test for further larvae ID.