Can sheep measles be spread sheep to sheep?

No. Transmission is between the dog and the sheep.  Dogs eat infected sheep meat and produce the tapeworm in the intestine.  Sheep then eat the tapeworm eggs excreted by the dog.

What causes the blemishes in the sheepmeat?

Overtime, cysts are killed by the sheep immune system, leaving fibrous or calcified lesions.

Why do I have only one heavily infected lamb in a line?

Sometimes, one or two lambs will ingest all the eggs from one defecation, causing a heavy infestation.

How long do the tapeworm eggs live on pasture?

Small numbers of T.ovis eggs may survive up to 300 days.  Some eggs can remain infective for up to 12 months.

How are eggs transported?

Flies and birds are known to carry eggs up to 10kms.

How long after ingestion do the cysts occur?

Cysts in the sheep mature 7-10 weeks after ingestion and then rapidly degenerate.  The tapeworm matures in the dog 5-8 weeks after ingestion.

I heard there was a vaccine, is this true?

Research on a sheep vaccine has been done.  However, the vaccine was not commercially viable and therefore has not been manufactured.  It was recommended the cheapest and best way to prevent sheep measles was to dose all dogs.

Why do we have to dose our dogs every month?

The T.ovis tapeworm has a 35 day lifecycle.

What if there is resistance to Praziquantal?

At this stage, there are no reports of any resistance.

Can I test my sheep to see if they have sheep measles?

No.  Cysts do not harm the sheep and there is no way of knowing if they are carriers until slaughter.

How long do the cysts stay in the sheep?

For life.

If I drench my sheep, will this prevent sheep measles?

No.  You should drench your sheep, but not to prevent sheep measles.

Is dog vaccinating and dosing the same thing?

No.  Dog vaccinations are to prevent viruses such as parvo and kennel cough.  Dosing is simply to remove gastrointestinal parasites.

What is the difference between a tapeworm and a roundworm?

Tapeworms are flat and compose of a series of segments (eggs).  Each segment (egg) is capable of living on its own and will develop into another complete worm.

Roundworms have a round body with tapered ends.  They do not have body segments.

I have been dosing my dogs with a product that doesn’t contain Praziquantel.  Are my dogs covered?

No.  Worming products must contain Praziquantel to be effective against the T. ovis tapeworm.  Some products not containing Praziquantel on the market are Nexgard Spectra Flea and Worm and Advocate Flea and Worm.

Why should I worry about sheep measles?

At meat inspection, the inspectors can only pick up approximately 20% of infected sheep.  Many of our carcasses are exported whole and therefore the risk of infected sheepmeat reaching our market is high.  No consumer would want to cut into their Sunday roast and find a sheep measles cyst.

On my kill sheets I have vis, plu, pluck, cyst ovis.  What do these mean?

These definitions depend on your processor.  Vis, plu and/or pluck refer to cysts found in the viscera or ‘offal’ – i.e heart, kidney, liver.  Cyst ovis refers to cysts found in the carcass.