HAMILTON & DISTRICT BUDGERIGAR SOCIETY INC.

CAECAL WORMS (Heterakis spp.)

(Helminths)
These are primarily poultry parasites, but peafowl, gamebirds and other gallinaceous species are commonly infested. The worms are approximately 0.5-1.5 cm. in length and are usually confined to the caeca. Eggs pass out in the droppings and usually become infective in about two weeks. The eggs are frequently taken in by earthworms so that birds may also become infested by eating these invertebrates. Although the worms are usually harmless, very heavy infestations especially of Heterakis isolonche in pheasants, do sometimes cause pinpoint hemorrhages and nodules on the epithelial lining of the caeca. The importance, however, of the caecal worm, Heterakis gallinae of the domestic fowl and other species, is its capacity to carry the protozoan parasite Histomonas meleagridis which causes the disease known as blackhead.

Treatment and control:
Infestations can be treated if considered necessary with tetramisole. Control measures should be on the same lines as those recommended previously for other roundworm infestations.



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E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca

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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.