Types of worms

Infections with worms and other internal parasites of cattle namely, the protozoans, are significant constraints to cattle production in Australia.

Internal parasites were estimated in 2015 to cost the Australian cattle industry about $94 million per year. In addition, infections with tapeworm larval cysts and liver fluke are a further cause of downgrading of meat products during inspections at abattoirs.

Being familiar with the important worms and other internal parasites (protozoa) on your property, and how they develop and survive, helps you plan effective control and maximise profits.

Worms

The common cattle worms in Australia can be divided into 3 broad groups:

Roundworms

Tapeworms

Flukes

Other internal parasites (protozoa)

Protozoans are single cell microscopic organisms, not worms and are a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in young cattle and calves.

Figure 1. Roundworms (Barber’s pole worm) , a tapeworm (intestinal tapeworm) and a fluke (liver fluke). Images courtesy Constantin Constantinoiu (roundworm) and Mukund Madhav (tapeworm and liver fluke)