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Endoparasites - Cooperia

Cooperia oncophora, C. punctata: Small intestinal worm or cooperids.

General Description: Small reddish nematodes up to 10mm long. Microscopically, the head looks swollen because of the dilated anterior end.

Life Cycle: Eggs in faeces may hatch in as little as 20 hours. Infective larvae can then develop within 4 days. Infective larvae are ingested by the host while grazing. The prepatent period is approximately 15 to 20 days.

Location: Small intestine.

Geographical Distribution: Worldwide, generally the most prevalent parasite found in cattle.

Significance: When worms are present in very large numbers, young cattle may be especially affected, experiencing weight loss. Affected animals exhibit poor utilisation of feed, taking longer to reach market weight.

Effect on Host: Adults penetrate the lining of the small intestine. Heavily infected young cattle may become anaemic and lose weight.

Diagnostic Information: Eggs, which appear in faeces, are strongyle-type but thinner than most.

Control: Pasture management and the administration of an anthelmintic are the current means of control.

Cooperia - adult, anterior end   Cooperia - adult, posterior end, male

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