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♫ Bad Bugs, Bad Bugs, Whatcha Gonna Do? ♪ : Parasites in Sheep. Dr Chris Clark WCVM University of Saskatchewan. Sheep Parasites. The price of doing business! PGE Coccidiosis Tapeworms Fluke Skin parasites. There’s a problem. When we think of parasites we think of drugs

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bad bugs bad bugs whatcha gonna do parasites in sheep

♫ Bad Bugs, Bad Bugs, WhatchaGonna Do? ♪ : Parasites in Sheep

Dr Chris Clark


University of Saskatchewan

sheep parasites
Sheep Parasites
  • The price of doing business!
    • PGE
    • Coccidiosis
    • Tapeworms
    • Fluke
    • Skin parasites
there s a problem
There’s a problem
  • When we think of parasites we think of drugs
  • Minimal drugs licensed for parasites for sheep in Canada
what does this mean for a sheep producer
What does this mean for a sheep producer?
  • Drugs used in food animals are federally regulated
  • Only a veterinarian can prescribe extra-label drug use
its more complicated
Its more complicated
  • Drugs
  • Identified by DIN number on packaging
  • Extra-label use permitted with veterinary prescription and withdrawal period
  • Pesticides
  • Identified by PCP number on package
  • No extra-label drug use permited
antibiotic labels tell you all you need to know
Antibiotic labels tell you all you need to know

SC = under the skin

IM = in the muscle

IV = in the vein

  • Treatment options for sheep are limited
  • You need a veterinarian to prescribe parasite treatments
    • Use gFARAD for withdrawal information
the canadian prairies
The Canadian Prairies
  • Good for sheep
  • Bad for most parasites
    • “its’s a dry cold”
  • It is not bad luck it is bad management
  • Mainly a problem of intensively raised lambs
  • Especially indoors
  • Outdoors needs specific conditions

Onset early as 8d

    • Typically 4-6 weeks
  • Severe diarrhea +/- blood
  • Tenesmus
  • Morbidity high, mortality low
  • Etiology
    • E. cradallis, E. ovinoidalis
  • Diagnosis
    • Epidemiology, fecal, PM
      • Not all that easy!
  • Avoid the epidemiology
  • Use of coccidiostats
    • Deccox
    • Baycox
    • Monensin
    • Amprolium
    • problems
  • Treatment
    • TMS
parasitic gastro enteritis pge
Parasitic gastro-enteritis (PGE)
  • Means different things in different regions
    • Teladosagia (ostertagia)
    • Haemonchus
    • Nematodirus
    • Trichostrongylus

Eggs passed in feces

Hatch and develop to L3 on pasture

L3 ingested

Develop to L5 – adult in host causing disease

Pass eggs in feces


Small ruminants – Periparturient egg rise is significant

Adults develop some immunity

canadian prairies
Canadian Prairies
  • Egg –L3 development
    • Requires heat and humidity
  • Barbers pole worm
  • Found in abomasum
    • Blood sucker
  • Prolific
  • Results
    • Ill thrift
    • Anemia, bottle jaw
    • Sudden death
  • Eggs passed in feces must develop to L3 on pasture
    • 5 day minimum
  • Requirements
    • Heat 18-26C (< 5 dormant, <10 nothing)
    • Humidity 100%
  • Canadian prairies –lucky to get one cycle
  • Most years disease is rare
  • If the weather is right you have a problem
haemonchus diagnosis
Haemonchus diagnosis
  • Reality
    • PM
  • Clinical signs
  • High egg count
haemonchus control
Haemonchus control
  • Traditionally
  • Deworm
  • Deworm
  • Deworm
  • Repeat as required
  • Nematode of the abomasum
    • Larval forms disrupt acid production
  • Type 1 disease
    • Diarrhea and weight loss
  • Type 2 disease
    • Early spring – bottle jaw
traditional control
Traditional control

Deworm ewes at lambing

Deworm lambs repeatedly throughout late summer and fall

  • Intestinal worm
    • Egg development in 2-3 months
  • N. battus– different epidemiology
  • Diagnosis difficult as disease is prepatent
    • Egg looks like liver fluke

Intestinal worm with epidemiology and effects similar to Teladosagia

Eggs are indistinguishable

controlling pge
Controlling PGE
  • Understanding the epidemiology
    • All research is done in a different climate
  • Periparturient egg rise
  • Egg – L3 development on pasture
  • Cycling in lambs
  • Some winter die off
using epidemiology to control pge
Using epidemiology to control PGE
  • Periparturient egg rise
    • Can last 8 weeks
    • Deworming ewes in association with parturition
    • Can be used to minimize pasture contamination in late spring
using epidemiology to control pge1
Using epidemiology to control PGE
  • Deworm lambs at weaning and move to new pasture/feedlot

BZ- Benzimidazoles

LM – Levamisol, Pyrantel, Morantel

AV- Avermectins

anthelmintic resistance
Anthelmintic resistance
  • Do you have a problem?
  • Fecal egg count reduction test
    • FEC
    • Weigh and dose
    • Wait 10d then redo FEC
    • Should be >85% reduction in egg count
anthelmintic resistance1
Anthelmintic resistance
  • Biosecurity
    • Dose all new arrivals on arrival
    • Weigh and dose
    • Dose on an empty stomach
    • Wait 2-3 days before turn out
anthelmintic resistance2
Anthelmintic resistance
  • Weigh and dose
  • Avoid rotation of dewormer classes
  • Dose when needed (egg counts, FAMACHA, BCS)
    • Refugia
  • Dose and move


Cystic Disease

intestinal tapeworms
Intestinal tapeworms
  • Monezia
    • Not important
taenia ovis

Dog - sheep

the costs of disease
The costs of disease

2009 – 270 lambs in the 1st 6 months

”In heavy infestations the carcass is condemned.

It is commonly considered that an animal is

heavily infested if lesions are discovered in two of

the usual inspection sites including the masseter

muscle, tongue, oesophagus, heart, diaphragm

or exposed musculature and in two sites during

incision into the shoulder and the rounds.

Carcasses with C. ovis infestations may not be

acceptable for export.”

traditional control1
Traditional control
  • Typified by Australia and New Zealand
  • Routine deworming
    • Mandated with appropriate products
  • Feed control
    • Freezing
    • Cooking
liver fluke
Liver fluke
  • Complex life cycle
  • Absolute requirement for snail
    • Lymnaeatruncatula
liver fluke disease
Liver fluke - disease
  • Acute
    • Sudden death at pasture
  • Sub acute
    • Poor doing fall/winter
  • Chronic
    • Anemia, hypoproteinemia poor BCS
fascioloides magna
Fascioloides Magna

Sheep is an aberrant host

    • Continual fluke migration
  • Presentation
    • Death
  • Control
    • Avoidance f snail areas
    • Triclabendazole
liver fluke control
Liver Fluke Control
  • Albendazole
    • Adult fluke only
  • Triclabendazole
    • V effective
    • Not in Canada
skin parasites
Skin parasites
  • Lice
  • Keds/ticks
  • Mites
  • Flies
  • Bovicolaovis– chewing
  • Linognathus spp. -sucking
  • Melophagusovinus

Ticks latch on and feed

Have 8 legs

Do not live on the goat

  • Sheep scab
  • Psoroptesovis
  • Treat with an avermectin twice (7d apart)
fly strike in sheep
Fly strike in sheep
  • Management problem
  • Severe welfare issue