Small intestinal worm is mostly found in the cooler parts of Australia. It is 10–15 mm long and is found coiled close along the wall of the small intestine. It is not a major parasite. The adult female in the small intestine lays eggs that are passed out in the dung. Under ideal environmental conditions, development from egg to L3 (third stage larvae) takes around seven days, but can be as long as five weeks.
Further ecological information on worms and their control:
The small intestine.
The small intestinal worm does not usually cause disease or any characteristic signs in sheep or goats, but may contribute to the severity of disease in mixed parasite infections and may worsen the effects of the brown stomach worm and black scour worm.
The only accurate way to diagnose worm infections before productivity losses have occurred is to conduct a WormTest (worm egg count). The results allow you to make the best choice of drench for the situation.
Visual signs only occur after significant production loss has already occurred. Also, these signs can occur with other parasites and diseases.
At post mortem examination, numbers of small intestinal worms are usually small and the worms do not cause any specific lesions in the intestinal lining.
There are many options to treat for this worm and your choice will depend on:
Your decision can be assisted by using the Drench Decision Guide, a simple tool that considers some of the points above.
You can also review the Drench pages on this site to find out specific information about drenches, including their drench active, drench group, length of protection, which worms they treat, dose rate, withholding period, export slaughter interval and manufacturer.
Note: only a few drench types are registered for use in goats.
The negative impact of this worm can also be reduced through browsing and grazing management strategies and by using one of the integrated worm control programs that have been developed for different regions across Australia.