Sheep measles

General description
  • Sheep measles are the cystic stage of the dog tapeworm Taenia ovis.
  • The cysts occur in the muscles of the sheep.
  • Sheep measles do not cause any ill health to affected sheep but can cause economic loss due to carcase condemnation at slaughter.
  • Sheep measles occurs when sheep ingest tapeworm eggs from contaminated pastures.
Clinical signs
  • There are no clinical signs in live sheep.
  • The cysts can calcify and have a ‘gritty’ feel.
  • At slaughter infected carcasses may be trimmed or condemned.
  • Sheep measles is detected by examining the muscles after slaughter.
  • There is no effective treatment for sheep measles.
  • Sheep measles can be prevented through monthly dog worming with a wormer that controls tapeworm and by restricting dog access to raw sheep meat and offal.
  • Frozen raw meat can be fed if held at or below -20℃ for two or more days beforehand.
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