How to diagnose and cure the sheep’s brain, disease prevention
The sheep’s brain is one of the most common helminths, leading to serious consequences for the health of sheep. In rare cases, people can become infected. The following describes the characteristics of this parasite, the symptoms of the disease it causes and its treatment, as well as methods of preventing infection.
The sheep’s brain (or multiceps) is a tapeworm that belongs to the cyclophillid order. Its larvae most often parasitize in the brain of sheep, which explains the name of helminth. Helminth also sometimes affects goats and cattle.
Did you know? Suckers and hooks on the head of the parasite allow it to cling to the walls of the digestive tract in the host.
The following biological characteristics of an adult individual of this type of worm are:
- total length up to 10 cm, but many sources give the figure 50-100 cm;
- head with 4 suction cups;
- the proboscis is armed with 22–32 hooks;
- the body consists of 200–250 segments.
The eggs of the brain are rounded and reach 0.03-0.04 mm in diameter, and the size of the cyst caused by an adult larva can reach 2-6 cm.
Life cycle features
A characteristic feature of parasites of this type is a different habitat in adults and larvae. Sexually mature worms live in the canine family, in the intestines of dogs, wolves, jackals and foxes, and the censorship is opened at intermediate hosts - sheep or people.
The life cycle of a multiceps has the following sequence:
- Helminth eggs that enter the body of an animal with water or grass are opened and the oncosphere (the initial stage of the larva), once in the blood, gets to the brain.
- Tsenura (the next stage of the larva) causes a deadly disease of the intermediate host.
- The infected parts of the fallen animal are eaten by a dog or fox. In their intestines after sexual reproduction of adult worms, new eggs are formed, which are excreted with feces and enter the grass or water.
Causes and signs of infection
The sheep brain causes coenurosis in intermediate hosts. The disease is most often chronic and is accompanied by damage to the brain (rarely spinal cord). The popular name for the disease is a swivel, swivel or brain, which describes one of the characteristic features of animal behavior.
Did you know? The first recorded case of helminth infection occurred in 5900 BC. e. Liver trematode was discovered in petrified feces in northern Chile.
Pathogenesis and symptoms
Once in the brain, after 3–6 months, censorship is formed from the oncospheres, which then lead to focal lesions and destroy tissue. On average, 1-3 sheep are found in one sheep, but there are cases of detection and 20-30 pieces.
A bubble of a larva (cyst) presses on the brain tissue, and in some cases can press on the bones of the skull, thinning and even perforating them. The manifestation of external symptoms depends on the location of the larvae in the brain, their number and the general condition of the animal.
The most characteristic symptoms in sheep are:
- circular involuntary movements;
- rapid running or long standing, with the head resting on the subject;
- imbalance, partial paralysis;
- hanging the head to one side, lowering the ears;
- loss of appetite and visual impairment;
- redness of the connective membrane of the eyes.
Harm to animals and people
Without timely diagnosis and treatment, coenurosis leads to death for humans and animals. In dysfunctional farms, up to 20% of young animals are recorded. The disease leads to death of livestock, loss of wool and meat products, additional costs for care and treatment.
The first manifestations of infection can be seen 2-3 weeks after the pathogens enter the body. The animal becomes shy, exhibits periodic arousal, convulsions are possible.
Weak lambs sometimes die already in this period, but for the most part the symptoms disappear for 2-6 months. The second stage is manifested by the typical symptoms listed above, after which coenurosis passes into the final stage.
How to identify a disease and cure cattle
The veterinarian makes a diagnosis by combining the clinical picture of the disease and information about the epidemiological history of the animal, and also uses a study of the skull and examination of the fundus. For treatment in the early stages, injections of 5% tincture of iodine and Panacurum (anthelmintic) are used, and in the later stages, surgical removal of tsenur.
Important! The operation is quite complicated, so many farms simply send sick animals for slaughter.
Cases and symptoms of human infection
A person rarely gets coenurosis, but the danger of the disease is as great for him as for sheep. You can get infected by contact with the hair or tongue of the dog that is the owner of the helminth. Also, parasite eggs can be transmitted through water, grass, or soil that has infected infected dog feces.
Symptoms of a disease in a person appear 2-3 months after infection.
The main features include:
- persistent headache;
- dizziness, nausea, and vomiting;
- loss of consciousness and disorientation;
- stiff neck muscles;
For diagnosis, brain studies (ultrasound, MRI and CT) and a neurological examination are used. Treatment is most often carried out surgically, sometimes chemotherapy is used.
Regions with developed sheep breeding are affected, where insufficient attention is paid to the control of stray animals. Farm workers who have frequent close contact with dogs are at risk. Experienced sheep breeders note that fine-fleeced breeds are most susceptible to helminth in the first year of the lambs' life.
To prevent infection, a general vaccination of lambs is carried out, which allows for 3-4 years of use to free the livestock farm from coenurosis.
Additional protection measures are:
- regular deworming of cattle dogs;
- trapping stray dogs, preventing their contact with the flock;
- disinfection of shepherds and sheds.
Important! Sheep that fell from coenurosis must be destroyed to prevent the further development of the parasite's life cycle.