wrml.2017-01-19.outlook.replacing resistant worms. poultry ‘worm’. snakes.tapeworm-fish etc

In this issue:

Outlook from the outhouse

Replacing resistant with susceptible worms -link to Melissa George article (ParaBoss)

Poultry killed by ‘worm’? (+ lots of snake info)

Tapeworm in raw/undercooked fish

Appendicitis and worms in humans

You’ll never lamb alone (annual MLA-sponsored video)

Marriage of sugar and tobacco (Taubes)

Stolen (ported) phone number and ‘catastrophic’ identity fraud scam

Food hazards for dogs etc

Outlook from the Outhouse

Over the last 3 months, rainfall for much of NSW, certainly coastal and nearby regions and much of northern NSW, has been below average. For the same period – the last 12 months in fact – temperatures have been above average. But you know that.

None of this augurs well for sheep worms – or grass – but remember that L3 infective larvae on pasture are relatively resilient and don’t fall over at the drop of a hat, even though death rates increase as temps go up.

Eyeballing summary worm egg counting results for December from the Armidale lab (vhr.com.au) – mostly covering northern NSW, but also farther afield – average egg counts for sheep are lower than we expected (back in Spring), but there are still some ‘hotspots’, as always.

One mob of ewes at Armidale had an average egg count of 5700 eggs per gram, with one sheep having a count of 12,400. The one that took the cake was a mob at Narrabri where the counts (they were barber’s pole worm) ranged from 2500 up to almost 20, 000. Some of those sheep had very watery blood.

Why these hotspots?  Well, I guess some people get lucky with storms. There might also be some management factors.  A ‘biggy’ in most cause is lack of WormTesting: doing insufficient worm egg counting to get a handle on worm burdens, and drench efficacy. Yep, more often than not, unwittingly using effective drenches is one of the factors.

Replacement of resistant worms with susceptible worms—can we do it and is it sustainable?

This is an article by Melissa George, which has just appeared as a ParaBoss Feature Article.

Yet another reason to subscribe to ParaBoss news.

The article is very interesting , but does raise a number of issues and questions. Also, you have to consider biosecurity. For example, where do the larvae come from? Is there any chance they could, for example, be carrying Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, the causative agent of ovine Johnes disease?

Poultry death associated with a ‘worm’ (Tiger Snake)

Friend and former colleague, Dr Steven Hum, found a couple of his chooks dead. There was nothing remarkable at necropsy except for a baby tiger snake in the crop of one bird.


Steven quite plausibly theorised that the chooks thought the young snake was an earthworm or similar, went for it, both getting bitten in the course of events, with one, the ‘victor’, swallowing? the the baby snake.

Dr Rod Reece (veterinary pathologist/registered avian medicine specialist; EMAI) found it interesting that one bird managed to at least ingest the snake [into crop], noted that Tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus), which are oviviparous, are considered potentially poisonous at birth,  and overall found the case intriguing. Rod also noted that brown snakes are more toxic than tiger snakes.

Some consider the brown snake to be the second most toxic snake in the world, after Australia’s inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus), aka western taipan, the small-scaled snake, or the fierce snake).

Many thanks to SH and RR for the story and further information.

isbister-gk-2006-snakebite-managment-australia-aust-prescriber   (‘excuse typo: “management”)



Tapeworm in raw, under-cooked fish

‘US salmon may carry Japanese tapeworm, scientists say.’

So says an article (with nice pictures ) by CNN:


The Japanese tapeworm is Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense (Japanese broad tapeworm) which previously/commonly was believed to occur only in fish in Asia

CNN cites this paper:

Kuchta R, Oros M, Ferguson J, Scholz T. Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense tapeworm larvae in salmon from North America. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Feb. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2302.161026 (Accessed 2017-01-12. Interesting, short article with great pics!)

‘Because Pacific salmon are frequently exported unfrozen, on ice, plerocercoids may survive transport and cause human infections in areas where they are not endemic, such as China, Europe, New Zealand, and middle and eastern United States (1).”

Back in the 1950s(?) when Europeans came out to work on the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Power Scheme, Diphyllobothrium latum  was discovered, but I presume transmission didn’t happen. (M Murphy, pers comm)

Appendicitis and worms in humans

(Thanks Maxine M, for planting the idea…:-)  

  • Allen and Tsai, 2016. Unusual case of appendicitis. BMJ Case Report.  http://casereports.bmj.com/content/2016/bcr-2016-214944.full?sid=97e8e9a9-53d6-4e0f-b45a-070839fbf964    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3668147/Teenager-s-appendicitis-infestation-WORMS-wriggling-inside-her.html  Nice pics!); reporting on Allen and Tais, 2016.  Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm).
  • Aydin O, 2007.Incidental parasitic infestations in surgically removed appendices: a retrospective analysis. Diagn Pathol. 2007; 2: 16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1887519/ (Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm) and Taenia spp (taeniid taspeworm…eg ‘beef measles and pork measles’); “The …report describes a group of patients who had experienced a curable infectious disease, but unfortunately had undergone a surgery with potential complications”
  • Panidis S and others, 2011. Acute appendicitis secondary to Enterobius vermicularis infection in a middle-aged man: a case report.  Journal List J Med Case Reports v.5; 2011 PMC3245485. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3245485/ .
    “Acute appendicitis due to Enterobius vermicularis is very rare, affecting mostly children. Whether pinworms cause inflammation of the appendix or just appendiceal colic has been a matter of controversy.” ..” 52 year old man…” “The finding of E. vermicularis in appendectomy pathological specimens is infrequent. Parasitic infections rarely cause acute appendicitis, especially in adults. One should keep in mind that the clinical signs of intestinal parasite infection may mimic acute appendicitis, although rare. A careful evaluation of symptoms such as pruritus ani, or eosinophilia on laboratory examination, could prevent unnecessary appendectomies.”
  • Wani I and others, 2010.Appendiceal ascariasis in children Ann Saudi Med. 2010 Jan-Feb; 30(1): 63–66. doi: 10.4103/0256- 4947.59380 PMCID: PMC2850184 “RESULTS: We found 11 patients with appendiceal ascariasis. It was incidentally found that 8/11
    (72.7%) patients had worms inside their vermiform appendix but not appendicitis, whereas the remaining three patients (27.2%) were found to have Ascaris-associated appendicitis. The characteristic finding in Ascaris-infested vermiform appendix was that  the worm is positioned with its head at the base and its tail at the tip of the appendix.CONCLUSION: Migration of A lumbrocoides inside the vermiform appendix is an incidental finding and tends to pursue a silent course in most patients. Only rarely does the presence of Ascaris inside the vermiform appendix cause appendicitis”.
  • Threadworms in the appendix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p08PVGKE0I8

Warning to young fathers: Do not suggest to your wife/partner, as I did, that sheep drench (wormer) would be a far, far cheaper option than the stuff from the chemist for treating the children when they had itchy bottoms/suspect pinworm. (Persisting in discussing) the potential savings might come at a cost. (Apart from legal issues.. etc..)

You’ll never lamb alone


Marriage of sugar and tobacco

This is the title of a chapter in Gary Taube’s new book, ‘The Case Against Sugar’.

(Here is just one review of the book:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/01/the-sugar-wars/508751/   If you want a ‘soundbite’, this is The Atlantic’s take: “The Sugar Wars – Science can’t prove it and the industry denies it, but Gary Taubes is convinced that the sweet stuff kills”).

I didn’t realise there was a tie between sugar and tobacco.

According to Taubes, American blended cigarettes were a big factor in tobacco usage really taking off. The blends were, for example, of flue-dried tobacco and air dried tobacco.

In flue-dried tobacco, the sugar content increases markedly. Sugar causes the smoke to acidify, which means the smoke can be inhaled without discomfort. Smoke from air dried tobacco is alkaline, which causes the coughing reflex.

Most of the nicotine is absorbed from the lungs.

It’s a bit more complicated (you might have to read the book), but there is also a relationship between nicotine and sugar. Higher sugar levels tend to mean lower nicotine levels, but there are other factors….

Farmers producing air-dried tobacco, which has higher nicotine levels, discovered that if the leaves were soaked in sugar solution, they would take up the sugar, increasing their weight by up to 50%.  And sugar was much cheaper than tobacco. The sugar improved the experience and meant the smoke could be inhaled without discomfort.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that Taubes, citing various sources, including from the 1950s (before the tobacco industry was under a serious cloud), says that sugar was an important part of the tobacco story. But read the book and make your own judgements.

As to ‘soft drinks’ (‘soda pop’), Dr Pepper, Coca-Cola and Pepsi were all launched, says Taubes, in the 1880s. Pemberton, the inventor of Coca Cola, was an Atlanta maker of patent medicines, and was addicted to morphine courtesy of injuries from the Civil War. The original recipe included a very popular French wine, Vin Mariani,  Bordeaux wine infused with the leaves of the coca plant (cocaine), mixed this with kola nuts (another popular ingredient in patent medicines), with the carbonated water being dispensed from soda fountains. Pemberton removed the wine from the formula in 1885, as some counties in Georgia banned the sale of alcohol. That’s when he added sugar to disguise the bitterness of the kola and the coca leaves. (These soft drinks and fruit juices now are commonly ~ 10-12% sucrose, or equivalent (e.g. HFCS55 (high fructose corn syrup (~ 45% glucose/~55% fructose)).

Stolen phone number led to ‘catastrophic’ identity fraud scam

So, security/verification codes relating to your accounts are often sent to you by SMS,  right….?
So, for two factor authentication, something like the Google Authenticator app might be better than getting codes by SMS??

Food hazards for dogs and other animals

University of Queensland vets issued a media release just before Christmas. In brief: “UQ School of Veterinary Science staff are warning pet owners to avoid sharing Christmas ham, pudding, cake, grapes, macadamia nuts and chocolate with their dogs and cats”. The article doesn’t mention xylitol. As to pancreatitis: most cases in dogs and cats are idiopathic (i.e. science-speak for ‘we don’t know’).
The Merck Vet Manual has good information on food hazards:
Listed are:
avocados (Fruit, leaves (most toxic) , stems, and seeds. Toxic principle: persin. Myocardial necrosis in mammals and birds and with sterile mastitis in lactating mammals. Dogs relatively resistant compared to other animals). According to this article: “Avocados are toxic to almost all animals (including cats and dogs). Humans are a rare exception” So, you don’t have to give up your ‘smashed’ (previously known as ‘mashed’?) avocado.
bread dough (Raw bread dough made with yeast poses mechanical and biochemical hazards when ingested, including gastric distention, metabolic acidosis, and CNS depression. Any species is susceptible, dogs are most commonly involved because of their indiscriminate eating habits)
chocolate ( Theobromine and caffeine (methylxanthines)). Potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and CNS dysfunction. Chocolate poisoning occurs most commonly in dogs, although many species are susceptible. Contributing factors include indiscriminate eating habits and readily available sources of chocolate. Deaths have also been reported in livestock fed cocoa by-products and in animals consuming mulch from cocoa-bean hulls.)
macadamia nuts (Nonfatal syndrome characterized by vomiting, ataxia, weakness, hyperthermia, and depression. Dogs are the only species in which signs have been reported. Mechanism unknown).
raisins and grapes (anuric renal failure in some dogs. Cases reported to date have been in dogs; anecdotal reports exist of renal failure in cats and ferrets after ingestion of grapes or raisins. It is not known why many dogs can ingest grapes or raisins with impunity while others develop renal failure after ingestion).
xylitol  (A sugar alcohol (a class of polyols) used to sweeten various sugar-free products. Ingestion of xylitol by dogs has resulted in hypoglycemia and, less commonly, hepatic injury and/or failure. Dogs are the only species in which xylitol toxicosis has been reported. In most mammals, xylitol has no significant  (or low/variable – Ed.) effect on insulin levels, but in dogs, xylitol stimulates a rapid, dose-dependent insulin release that can result in profound hypoglycemia). Reported to have oral health benefits in humans (thanks JL) because it is a non-fermentable carbohydrate (Strep. mutans – which is involved in plaque and dental caries (cavities) – makes use of fermentable carbs., eg sucrose and other sugars, and some sugar alcohols, eg sorbitol and other 6-carbon polyol – resulting in acid production and demineralization of teeth. ) Xylitol may aid remineralisation of teeth – but there are differing opinions on this and other aspects. Regarded as safe for diabetic humans – minimal effect on blood glucose and insulin in humans. But, keep your xylitol sweetened chewing gum away from your dog! Toxic doses in dogs can be around 75 mg/kg, and some pieces of gum have ~ 1g xylitol. – Ed.


WRML.2017-01-12.What Works With Worms -2015 International Congress.MLA animal health reports for 2016.Zolvix Plus.Plus extras

In this issue

Zolvix Plus – available (AU) March 2017
What works with worms (W4) – conference, Pretoria, 2105
Animal health and biosecurity -final project reports on MLA website
Merial joins Boehringer Ingelheim
NADIS website
BioClay – a game-changer for crop protection?
New blood test for bowel cancer
The five funniest moments in Australian history
Famous Scots vets (an oxymoron?)

Zolvix Plus®

Conference Proceedings

Anthelmintic Efficacy More Sustainable via Implementation of Whole Flock Targeted Treatment (TT)
and Targeted Selective Treatment (TST)
Dr. Jan van Wyk

The “Big Five” – a South African Perspective on Sustainable Holistic Internal Parasite Management in Sheep and Goats
Dr. Gareth Bath
Choosing the Right Drug for Worm Control
Dr. Lisa Williamson

Correct Administration of Anthelmintics
Dr. Ken Pettey

Determining the Level of Efficacy in Anthelmintics
Dr. Ray Kaplan

Does Diatomaceous Earth Have a Role in Worm Control?
Dr. Niki C. Whitley and Dr. James Miller

Facts and Fictions About Tapeworm in Sheep
Dr. Seyedmehdini Mobini

The FAMACHA System – Back to Nature’s Basics
Drs. Faffa Malan, Gareth Bath, and Jan van Wyk

Fecal Egg Counts:  Uses and Limitations
Bob Storey

The Five Point Check for Targeted Selective Treatment of Internal Parasites in Small Ruminants [Abstract only]
Dr. Gareth Bath

Getting the Message Across to Farmers
Susan Schoenian

Herbs and Spices as Alternative Compounds to Manage Helminthosis in Sheep and Goats

E.N. Escobar, Ph.D.

How and Why Resistance to Worms Develops
Dr. Ray Kaplan

Liver Fluke Relevance and Control Strategies (Small Stock and Cattle) — Including Practical Application and Limitations of Fluke Serology
Dr. F.S. (Faffa) Malan

Potential Newer Control Methods
Dr. James Miller

Practical Breeding for Sheep Resistance and Resilience to Haemonchus Contortus: Trial to Select Haemonchus Contortus Resistance Sheep  Under Summer Rainfall Conditions
Alan Fisher

The Role of Pasture Management in Controlling Intestinal Parasites
Dr. Gareth Bath, Susan Schoenian, and Dr. Tom Terrill

Sequential Treatment as a Possible Way of Slowing AR
Dr. D. Midgley, Private Veterinary Consultant

Smart Man’s Lucerne and Worm Control
Dr. Tom Terrill

Towards a Commercially Available Vaccine for Wireworm:  Efficacy with Dorper Sheep in South Africa(‘wireworm” = Haemonchus contortus – Ed.)

H. Bredendamp, G.F.N. Newlands, Oberem PTO, W.D. Smith, and M.G. Snyman  

The Use of Sericea Lespedeza (Smart Man’s Lucerne) in South Africa
H. Botha, South African farmers

The Use of Tannin Containing Resources in the Control of Gastro Intestinal Nematodes in Small Ruminants
H. Hoste, F. Torres Acosta, L. Mueller, T.H. Turner

When Anthelmintics Can Cause Death and Illness
R. Leask

What Works With Worms

2015 International Congress on Sustainable Parasite Management

The American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control, along with the South African Veterinary Association and the Veterinary Science Faculty of the University of Pretoria, sponsored an International Congress on sustainable parasite management. W4: What Works With Worms was held May 25-26, 2015, at the Farm Inn in Pretoria, South Africa.

Thanks to the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)  and California Sheep Commission for providing financial support for the W4: What Works With Worms Congress.

To keep all Brits humble, consider this (told to me by a Scot):
The Scots keep the Sabbath, and everything else they can lay their hands on; the Irish can’t agree about anything, but are willing to fight for it; the Welsh pray on their knees, as well as their neighbours; and the English are a self-made people, and they worship their creator.
To keep antipodeans, Australians at least, humble, consider the ‘five funniest moments’, above, and various sporting results, and maybe politics (although, in that regard, some other countries seem to be taking the cake at present…).
New ‘Enid Blyton’ book: ‘Five on Brexit Island’
SL*, Armidale 2017-01-12
Conflicts of interest: none that I know of
* a vet and a person with Scottish ancestry  🙂 (hence a license to use friendly ridicule)