WRML.2014-11-13.Differentiating Trichostrongylus and Teladorsagia larvae. Plus other

To WormMail mailing list ( ~ 400 subscribers; recip. undisclosed)

In this issue:

Differentiating Trichostrongylus and Teladorsagia larvae

WormBoss On-line learning – some feedback


NSW DPI Drought Feed Calculator

Keeping track of animals – exploiting patterns in animal behaviour (idTracker)

Chocolate and now xylitol – no joy for dogs

Standing desk revolution

Differentiating Trichostrongylus and Teladorsagia larvae

In a recent WormMail (on monepantel resistance in sheep in Australia) I said this:

“For the boffins: I might point out that VHR (Veterinary Health Research) has the capacity to do PCR as well as traditional parasitology when it comes to differentiating worm species. Some of you will know that when it comes to larval differentiation, there can be problems when using traditional techniques (morphology) to accurately/consistently tell the difference between Trichostrongylus (black scour worm, stomach hair worm) and Teladorsagia (brown stomach worm) larvae. For example, short-tailed Teladorsagia can look just like Trichostrongylus”.

Paul Mason, an experienced and well-known consultant parasitologist in New Zealand, responded with these comments:

“I think the development of PCR techniques for identifying worms is great. I now have a lot of experience in this field with both L3, L4, and adults, but it would be interesting to see how I rate against the PCR. As to larval differentiation in particular, I am quite happy with my results. Robin McAnulty and I have done a little comparison of results and we concur on what we see in sheep and cattle. We don’t find any problem in differentiating Teladorsagia/Ostertagia and Trichostrongylus. Teladorsagia/Ostertagia have an obvious buccal capsule under my microscope and an anterior shoulder. Trichostrongylus have a smooth anterior end and no buccal capsule. Generally Teladorsagia/Ostertagia are bigger than Trichostrongylus, but sometimes there are “small” Teladorsagia/Ostertagia seen, and they can be present in quite large numbers. I would love to see PCR deal with this!

Deer are something different, but I will not go into them.”

You see can images and text regarding the morphology of different larvae in this document by Dr Gareth Hutchinson: http://www.scahls.org.au/Procedures/Documents/ANZSDP/Nematode_Parasites_of_Ruminants_FINAL.pdf

See pages 25-26.

WormBoss On-line learning – some feedback

“This is such a cool website Steve – I almost want to know more! I love the way it is presented so simply and logically! WOW – and that was just a quick look. All websites should be like this!

Thanks, J… “

“Awesome thanks Steve. Can’t wait to do this one! Cheers ,… (a vet in rural NSW)



I do like cats, most animals in fact (except maybe flamingos). Cats just do what cats do. The ultimate problem I think is humans.

An article in a recent Sheep Connect Tasmania newsletter (5 November 2014) said this:

“Feral cats

Livestock impacts: Cats are the primary host of the disease-causing parasites Toxoplasma gondii (toxoplasmosis, or ‘toxo’) and sarcocystis (‘sarco’).

Toxo causes abortion or stillbirth of lambs, and is present in more than 80% of Tasmania’s feral cat population (one of the highest rates of the disease in the world). The disease has caused up to 50% lamb losses in maiden ewes.

Sarco causes cysts in muscle tissue that must be removed at the abattoir by carcase trimming, and in some instances, whole carcases are condemned. One instance saw 140 carcases infested with the cysts condemned from a line of 350 mutton; a loss of 40%.”

View on web at http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d8262befda5125340f6c51851&id=65af3102f6&e=30c34d9b9d

Sheep Connect Tasmania’s facts sheets on sarco and toxo (and other diseases):


Calls for Australian cats to be kept indoors:


Landline story – feral cats in Tasmania:


The Oatmeal – how much do cats actually kill?


NSW DPI Drought Feed Calculator


“An Australian-first Drought Feed Calculator smart phone app has been designed to enable farmers to develop a drought feed strategy for sheep and cattle.”

Keeping track of animals – exploiting patterns in animal behaviour

I suppose like others I have wondered for decades if behaviour of livestock could be used to improve animal health, including management of worms. I thought the introduction of electronic ID might lead to breakthroughs.

Here is some more technology which might make a big difference:


Some excerpts:

“Now, a team of researchers at the Cajal Institute in Madrid, led by Gonzalo de Polavieja, has launched idTracker—an image-tracking program that maintains the correct identities of hundreds of individuals in a video with almost 100 percent accuracy, regardless of how similar they look and how many times they cross each other’s paths”.

“The study of animal behaviour has been stuck in traditional methodology for far too long and is stagnating as a result. This type of technology will revitalize this field”.—Iain Couzin, Princeton University.

Chocolate and now xylitol – no joy for dogs

You probably know that dogs are somewhat sensitive to chocolate poisoning, specifically, theobromine toxicity.

The artificial sweetener, xylitol (a sugar alcohol) can also cause problems for dogs: hypoglycaemia and even liver failure.


It seems it’s best for animals to stick to the natural diets to which they are adapted. (Excluding humans of course…. J ).

Standing desk revolution



Stephen Love, NSW DPI Armidale

‘Doveryai no Proveryai ‘ (Trust, but verify).

WRML.2014-11-13.Differentiating Trichonstronglyus and Teladorsagia larvae.pdf