ascarid worms

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Colt Cottage
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:07 pm

ascarid worms

Post by Colt Cottage » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:54 pm

About a month ago we brought in a new gilt and today I noticed a number of thin white worms about 3 inches long in her faeces, which I am guessing are ascarids, they don't look like tapeworms. The vet recommends dectomax for her and the boar. I have 3 queries: firstly, she should be 3 weeks into her gestation, fingers crossed, is this an ok time to worm; I believe I read a recommendation to treat TWO WEEKS prior to moving to clean pasture - vet thought this was as for sheep, (to pick up burden of non-resistant worms and dump resistant worms in old pasture) but my reading is that pigs can be maintained free of ascaris suum, so is it better to move after 24 hours; lastly, the vet thinks the eggs will not last over about a month, but wiki says they are very persistent. Their paddock is free draining pasture, obviously with some muddy patches(!) and they are housed in a dry hut with a wooden floor and bedding. We clear the paddock every two to three days.

claire86
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Re: ascarid worms

Post by claire86 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:42 pm

Hi,
I've been off here for a while so apologies for the late reply! The situation may well have changed by now!

Firstly, It's quite unusual to see a pig pass full adult worms. This normally happens after they have been wormed, so the worms die and are passed out. A worm burden is routinely diagnosed by looking at a faecal sample under the microscope to look for the presence of worm eggs. The species can then also be identified. It would be worth asking the previous owner when she was last wormed. When a pig is pregnant, there is also a relaxation in immunity to worms so egg numbers can dramatically increase in this time.

There are a number of 'roundworm' species that occur in pigs in the UK - strongyles, whipworms and ascarids. Ascarids are normally quite long - up to 40cm! But quite often don't show any clinical signs in adults sows.
Dectomax isn't licensed for pigs. Certain forms of Ivermectin are licensed for pigs for the treatment of intestinal worms. Most ivermectin producets are safe for use during pregnancy and indeed, it is recommended to treat sows 2-3 weeks prior to farrowing.
Yes, it used to be the recommendation in sheep to 'dose and move' - worm then move to clean pasture. This is not the best method anymore for flocks - I can go into this in more detail if required! In pigs, this is also difficult as often, owners only have one field! I wouldn't worry too much, but if you have enough clean pasture that you can rotate the pigs around until any eggs on the pasture have died off (ascarid eggs can survive many years because of a protective sticky coating) then do so. It is important to 'poo pick' too to help reduce the pasture burden.

I would advise to worm both pigs and do a faecal egg test after 3mo (the time from infection to eggs being produced is around 10 weeks).

Hope this helps if it's not too late!

Claire

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