Group Title: Veterinary Science mimeograph series
Title: Internal parasites of cattle
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Internal parasites of cattle
Alternate Title: Veterinary Science mimeograph series - University of Florida ; 55-2
Physical Description: 12 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Swanson, Leonard E., b. 1898
Dennis, Walter R.
Stone, William M.
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Donor: unknown ( endowment )
Publisher: University of Florida, Agricultural Experiment Stations
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: July, 1954
Copyright Date: 1954
Subject: Cattle -- Diseases and pests -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Cattle -- Parasites -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Leonard E. Swanson, Walter R. Dennis and William M. Stone, Jr.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "July, 1954."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094200
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 433097024

Full Text

Veterinary Science Mimeograph July, 1954
Series No. 55-2




Leonard E. Swanson, Walter R. Dennis and William M. Stone, Jr.

I. General Introduction

A. Parasitology is the science that deals with parasitism.

1. A parasite is an animal that lives upon or within another

living organism at whose expense it obtains nourishment and

protection without giving anything in return for this rela-


2. Parasitism is the relationship between the host and parasite.

3. Helminth is a defined term for worms.

4. Helminthology is the study of worms.

B. All animals are parasitized with one form or another of these


C. Wild animals are especially heavily parasitized and quite often

serve as reservoirs of infection for domestic animals.

II. Relationship of Parasites

A. Symbiosis The living together of two dissimilar organisms to

the advantage of both.

1. Mutualism is a form of symbiosis in which both symbionts are,

in more or less measure, benefited by the association.

2. Commensalism is a form of symbiosis in which-one symbiont is

benefited, but its co-symbiont is neither benefited nor harmed.


3. Helotism is a form of symbiosis in which one organism enslaves

the other.

B. In summary, a symbiont receiving the benefit is the parasite and

the one receiving the damage is the host.

III. Zobparasites are parasites which belong to the animal kingdom.

IV. Ectoparasites are those that are parasitic to the surface of the body.

V. Endoparasites are parasites which enter the body of the host, in-

habiting the alimentary canal, liver, lungs, blood and other tissue.

VI. The influence of parasites upon the host depends upon the number of

parasites present, location, the nature of their food, environmental

conditions, and age of the host. The effects of parasites on the

host also depend on the balance of minerals, vitamins and proper food


VII. Parasites Injure the Host

A. Through mechanical injury such as biting and migration.

B. Through obstruction as in the case of a mass infection of lungworms

blocking the respiratory tract.

C. By injection of toxins such as occur in extreme hookworm infections.

D. Tissue feeding such as maggots.

E. Anaphylactic reaction extreme sensitivity to touch of ascarids.

VIII. Internal parasites of cattle fall into the following phylum and class:

A. Phylu Platyhelminthes

1. Class Trematoda

a. Example: liver fluke


2. Class Cestoda

a. Example: tapeworms

B. Phylum Nemathelminthes

1. Class Nematoda

a. Example: all roundworms

IX. Internal parasites of cattle listed according to their location in

the body are:

A. Bronchial tubes of the lungs

1. Lungworms

a. Dictyocaulus viviparus

B. Liver

1. Liver flukes

a. Fasciola hepatica

b. Fascioloides magna

c. Fasciola aegyptiaca

C. Rumen (Paunch)

1. Rumen flukes

a. Paramphistomum cervi

b. Cotylophoron cotylophorum

D. Abomasum (True Stomach)

1. Wireworm

a. Haemonchus contortus

2. Lesser Stomach worm

a. Ostertagia ostertagi

3. Bankrupt worm

a. Trichostrongylus axei

E. Small Intestine

1. Threadworms (microscopic in size)

a. Cooperia spp. and Strongyloides spp.

2. Hookworms

a. Bunostomum phlebotomum

3. Threadworms macroscopicc in size)

a. Capillaria bovis

4. Threadnecked worm

a. Nematodirus spathiger

5. Roundworms

a. Ascaris vitulorum

6. Tapeworms

a. Monezia expansa and M. benedeni

F. Large Intestine

1. Nodular worm

a. Oesophagostomum radiatum

2. Whipworm

a. Trichuris discolor

3. Nine species of coccidia (Protozoan)

a. Eimeria zurnii

b. E. bovis

c. E. canadensis

d. E. ellipsoidalis

e. E. bukidnonensis

f. E. cylindrica

g. E. auburnensis

h. E. alabamensis

i. E. subspherica

G. Skin and Body Cavities

1. Filaria usually causing summer sores. May be seen in or

on any part of the body, however cattle navel region is

usual site.

X. Life Cycles

A. All parasites of the Nematoda class are what is termed as direct

infectors. No intermediate host is required, with the exception

of filariae, which require an intermediate host such as biting

flies and mosquitoes.

1. Direct infectors depend on optimum moisture, temperature and

vegetative conditions to complete their life cycle. The eggs

are passed out of the host animal in the feces and hatch,

liberating a minute larva. This larva, after three molts, is

known as the infective stage, at which time it crawls upon

blades of grass and is eaten by the grazing animal. Upon

reaching the digestive tract the larva finds its suitable

location in the host and reaches sexual maturity, mates and

begins laying eggs.

2. Filariae depend upon mosquitoes or biting insects to complete

their life cycle. The female worms lay their larvae in the

host tissue. These larvae are picked up and circulated in the

blood stream and transferred to a new host by insect vectors.

The vector, feeding on the infected animal and taking. its

blood meal, sucks up the microscopic larvae, which further

develop in the insect and at a subsequent blood meal are re-

injected into another host animal.

B. All parasites belonging to the class Trematoda and class Cestoda

require an intermediate host.

1. Liver flukes, rumen flukes and others of the Trematoda class

require a fresh water snail to complete their life cycle. The

young flukes that hatch from the eggs burrow into the soft

tissue of snails, develop, and are liberated into water as

tadpole flukes. These young flukes swim around in water and

attach themselves to blades of grass and are subsequently eaten

by cattle. This stage in the life cycle is known as the in-

fective or encysted cercariae stage.

2. Tapeworms, of the class Cestoda, in cattle require as an inter-

mediate host a microscopic grass mite. The tapeworm segments

are passed in the fecal material to the ground. The grass

mites feeding in this material ingest the tapeworm eggs. These

eggs develop into the infective stage within the body of the

mites. The mites crawl on grass and are eaten with the

vegetation by animals normally grazing. Upon reaching the

digestive tract of the host, the infective stage of the tape-

worm is liberated and subsequently selects its normal location

in the small intestine, where it reaches sexual maturity and

begins its life cycle over again.

C. Phylum Protozoa, class Sporozoa, commonly known as coccidia, are

direct infectors. The animal becomes infected by eating food or

drinking water which has become contaminated with the coccidia

oocysts. Houseflies, birds, rats and man, etc. may serve as

mechanical means of transporting this infection.

XI. Damage done to the host.

A. In general parasites must live congenially with their host in

order to produce their kind; however, if by accident, over-

crowding, improper feeding, overgrazing or unsanitary farm

management practices the animals become excessively parasitized,

they succumb to the ravages of the parasites. The above state-

ment, however, is not true for the human tapeworm as man (the

host for the adult tapeworm) must eat the uncooked meat contain-

ing the infective cyst, which is found in beef muscle tissue.

B. Parasites, depending upon their location in the host and type of

food required for their existence, injure the animal by feeding

on blood, bacteria, tissue, bile, epithelium, lymph, or by

mechanical blocking of the essential physiological functions of

the respective organs or tissues of the body.

1. Internal parasite infection, whether it be in cattle or other

animals, cannot be seen in its protected home, wherever the

location in the body may be. They may be likened to a closed

book; you do not know of their presence or absence unless

accurate methods of diagnosis are utilized.

XII. Symptoms

A. It is very difficult to describe the symptoms of parasite in-

fections in cattle. Furthermore, in heavily infected herds

there is usually a mixed infection of the various parasites.

Again, it is difficult to differentiate between the symptoms

of parasitism, malnutrition and mineral deficiency.

B. In general a parasitized animal is weak, emaciated, has a rough

hair coat and is anemic, as shown by paleness of the mucous

membranes of the eyes and mouth. Occasionally there is an edematous

swelling (bottle jaw) observed in liver fluke, hookworm and

stomach worm infection. It has been further observed that

these parasitized cattle may have a profuse diarrhea which

alternates with constipation. If hookworm infection is heavy

the fecal material will be black or blood tinged. In strongy-

loides infection there is a profuse, foul smelling diarrhea

intermixed with diphtheritic membranes. In lungworm infection

the symptoms are very pronounced in that the animals cough when


excited or driven. The mouth is held open, the tongue protrudes,

the head hangs low, and a creamy-like nasal discharge exudes

from the nostrils. The calf continually licks its nose, and in

later stages approaching death there is a definite abdominal

breathing and jugular pulse.

XIII. Diagnosis

A. The most accurate method of determining parasitism is to sacrifice

the suspected animal either by slaughter or field autopsy. Open

each and every organ of the respiratory and digestive tract, making

careful inspection for the presence or absence of any parasites.

B. Whenever animals are slaughtered from your ranch it is advisable

to follow them to the packing house and to have the Veterinary

Inspector pay close attention to the organs to determine the

presence or absence of parasites. The inspectors and packers

are very cooperative and will gladly render a report on the para-

site findings in your animals.

C. To diagnose parasitism in the living animal, take directly from

the animal approximately 1/2 pint of fecal material and place in

a pint jar or similar waterproof, clean container, and leave in

the icebox overnight to chill. Hail this specimen to your local

veterinarian or to the Experiment Station for diagnosis and re-

commendations. Portions of these samples are examined micro-

scopically for the presence or absence of parasite eggs. Each

parasite egg has a distinct shape and color and can be readily


identified. In taking samples it is advisable not to pick

individual animals but to take a cross-section of your herd.

A negative specimen does not necessarily mean the animal is

free of parasites, but that the sample was free of parasitic

infection. It is advisable to make several periodic parasite

checks to determine the true picture in your herd. Observe

your animals closely for symptoms of parasitism.

XIV. Prevention

A. Plant improved pastures, preferably of the taller growing grasses

such as pangola, torpedo, bahia, para, clover, etc. Low growing

vegetation such as carpet grass force animals to graze too close-

ly to the earth. Divide pastures into small acreage and rotate

cattle frequently, giving the grasses an opportunity to develop.

and in turn the cattle better grazing. Provide clean drinking

water from concrete or iron troughs, controlling the flow by

automatic floats. It is entirely impractical to rotate pastures

sufficiently long to eliminate parasites from cattle as it takes

from 10 to 12 months of nongrazing to eliminate parasites from

a given area. However, rotation of short duration is very

beneficial. Provide feeds such as hay and protein supplements

for the winter when the grasses are low. Keep before your

animals at all times a balanced mineral ration which is well-

protected from the weather. Avoid deep shade, low wet areas,

provide adequate drainage of muck pastures, and cap or other-


wise control artesian well flow. Do not allow standing water

in your pastures for a period of over 21 days, and if necessary,

drain with a V-type ditch.

XV. Treatment

A. Administer, either by bolus or drench, phenothiazine according to

the dose schedule which is found on the label of each and every

package. In general the dose of phenothiazine for cattle is

10 grams per 100 pounds live weight. Do not treat just visibly

sick animals, but treat all animals in that particular herd and

repeat treatment in 21 days. Furthermore, it is advisable to

continue this treatment in the fall and spring each year, especially

those animals under 18 months of age.

B. Administer hexachlorethane, as a drench, in doses of 10 grams per

100 pounds live weight, to all animals in herds where liver fluke

infection is found. Repeat in 21 days as the drug does not destroy

the immature flukes. Repeat periodically, as "A" above. In con-

junction with hexachlorethane treatment of cattle, drain your

pastures, control water, and treat all snail-infected areas with

copper sulfate to destroy the intermediate host snails.

XVI. There are a number of parasites of cattle which are not removed by

the two drugs mentioned above; however, the most pathogenic ones

are removed, allowing the animals to overcome the other infections.

Research is in progress to find drugs and methods to remove all


parasites from the animal without injury to the host. Parasites in

this group include lungworms, cooperia, hookworms, tapeworms, and


LES: jah

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