Sheep coenurosis in Thi-Qar Province, Iraq

  • Jalel Abed Gatie, et al. Thi-Qar Vet. Hospital, Veterinary Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture, Iraq.


Coenurus cerebralis, the metacestode or larval form of the dog tapeworm Taenia multiceps, causes coenurosis, otherwise known as gid or stagger. C. cerebralis causes a serious problem in sheep production. Prevalence of Coenurus cerebralis in sheep herds in different times (2004-2017) and locations and causes in characteristic clinical signs and an important percent of deaths.  The diseased sheep were used for clinical examination and anatomy in five herds (1610 heads) of sheep at different times and from different areas in Thi-Qar province south of Iraq. All sheep were examined clinically in the herds during the study.T otal infestations by T. multiceps percentage where 13.29% in this study. The brain examination showed the presence of cysts of T. multiceps larvae in three places on the brain in the right and left hemispheres and at the bottom of the brain. The cysts were identified as being partially outside of the brain tissue and were buried in the brain tissue and were strongly attached and after separation leave a gap of size and a large number of the visible scolices (120-170 Scolices)  in the form of white pieces, 1-2 mm long, similar to the lipid tissue. Microscopic examination of the scolices showed the presence of scolex of the Taenia multiceps and the movement of the larvae. The number of larval stage bags in the infected animal reached 1-8 cases. The infestations included lambs, which can be infected with the age of 4 months and adult sheep of both sexes. Our study showed a prevalence of coenurosis among sheep in Thi-Qar province and confirmed its diagnosis by used clinical signs, case history, brain anatomy and microscopic examination of C. cerebral cysts.


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