Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Worms found in Cows under the Microscope

Bunostomum phlebotomum is a species of worms (nematodes) that are found in the small intestine of calves. The worms are stout and measure 1-3cm in length. Young animals are most commonly affected and only several hundred worms can cause death. Adults often carry worms but do not show any symptoms.

Diarrhea is the primary symptom in the cows along with signs of anorexia, lethargy and weight loss. Hypoproteinaemia, anaemia and dehydration often occur. Skin involvement due to larvae penetration appears as lesions especially on the feet and limbs. Analysis of fecal samples under a microscope enables eggs to be found, or adult worms can be visualized in the small intestine when an autopsy is performed.

Veterinarians and ranchers can use Anthelmintics (antiparasitic drugs) for effective treatment of the infection. Preventative antiparasitic treatment may help prevent the disease as well as pasture management to avoid egg and larvae accumulation.

The image below is Bunostomum phlebotomum that was taken from a calf in Texas. Images were captured using a 3 megapixel microscopy camera on the U2 Lab Microscope.

Microscope World image of bunostomum phlebotomum under the microscope at 100x.
Bunostomum Phlebotomum (worm) taken from a cow's intestine, examined under the U2 Microscope at 100x.

Microscope World image of Bunostomum phlebotomum under the microscope at 400x.
Bunostomum Phlebotomum (worm) taken from a cow's intestine, examined under the U2 Microscope at 400x.