Members of the genus Toxocara are zoonotic intestinal nematodes (roundworms) that mature in various mammals, including some domesticated species. Toxocara vitulorum infections, a parasite of cattle and water buffalo, can be associated with diarrhea and retard growth, and in severe cases, may result in illness and even death.
2. CLINICAL SIGNS:
- Toxocariasis is caused by members of the genus Toxocara, nematodes in the family Toxocaridae, superfamily Ascaridoidea. Recognized species include Toxocara canis; T. cati; T. malaysiensis and T. vitulorum, which have domesticated animals as their definitive hosts to mature and lay eggs.
- vitulorum infections usually occur in calves less than 2 months old. Calves can be infected by ingesting T. vitulorum’ eggs or even through their mother while being only a fetus.
- Adults cattle are uninfected due to natural resistance. However, for both baby and adult goats, there are some cases showing both are capable of being infected with T. vitulorum.
- Clinical signs that have been reported in naturally infected calves include anorexia, signs of abdominal pain, diarrhea of varying severity, constipation, dehydration, steatorrhea, unthriftiness, weight loss or poor weight gain, poor hair coat, and a butyric odor on the breath and feces. Coughing has been described in experimentally infected calves. Uncommon sequelae may include intestinal obstruction, volvulus or perforation and intussusception, and some infections can be fatal. Infected calves can die within 7 – 16 days.
- Larvae migrating through the liver and lungs can cause inflammation and respiratory signs of varying severity, most common cases is pneumonia.
- Chronic enteritis can result in the thickening of the intestinal walls or even intussusception. Other uncommon but serious complications include obstruction of the gall bladder, bile duct or pancreatic duct, or rupture of the intestine and peritonitis.
- When an animal has a high fever due to another disease, the worms can crawl from the stomach, esophagus, mouth or pharynx into the larynx, trachea, or lungs, causing suffocation.
- Giving deworming medicine at early age for calves, especially those at from 20 days old or 1 month old and then apply routine treatment to the herds.
- Prompt elimination of feces can help reduce environmental contamination. In kennels, removal of feces should be followed by thorough cleaning. High pressure steam cleaning, followed by a disinfectant periodically is highly recommended.
- Should manure are kept as fertilizer, composting should be done to eliminate eggs worm before fertilize crops.
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Whilst doing so, it is highly recommending to combine with auxiliary medicine to increase natural resistance such as: