WORMS IN ALPACAS

Alpacas in Australia are susceptible to both cattle and sheep nematodes, trematodes and cestodes.

Common worms in alpacas include:

1. Gastronintestinal Nematodes (Round Worms)

  • Black scour worm (Trichostrongylus sp.)
  • Small brown stomach worm (Teladorsagia/Ostertagia)
  • Thin necked intestinal worm (Nematodirus sp.)
  • Small intestinal worm (Cooperia oncophora)

These parasites can cause conditions from mild weight-loss to scouring, blood loss and death if left uncontrolled. Tapeworm appear to cause minimal problems in alpacas.

Other worms include:

  • Barbers pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) (particularly in summer rainfall zones)
  • Whipworm (Trichuris sp)

2. Flukes (Trematodes)

  • Liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) is an important parasite in certain areas where conditions are suitable for the intermediate host, an aquatic snail.

3. Cestodes (Tapeworm)

  • Moniezia spp

4. Coccidia (Eimeria)

  • Coccidia are microscopic protozoal parasites not worms.

 

COMMON ALPACA WORMS Table 4.1

Common NameScientific Name
Most Important Roundworms  
Black scour worm/stomach hair worm Trichostrongylus sp.
Small brown stomach worm Teladorsagia/Ostertagia
Thin necked intestinal worm Nematodirus sp.
Small intestinal worm Cooperia oncophora
Other Roundworms  
Barbers pole Haemonchus contortus (particularly in summer rainfall regions)
Whipworm Trichuris sp.
Trematodes (flukes)  
Liver fluke Fasciola hepatica

Source: Love S, 2017. Alpaca worms - an overview. NSW DPI Primefact 991. Accessed October 2019 at: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/318217/Alpaca-worms-an-overview.pdf

 

GUIDE TO WORM EGG COUNTS IN ALPACAS – Table 4.2

Egg type and egg counts
  Strongyles Nematodes Nematodes+Strongyles
Crias, weaners >350 >100 >250
Tuis, adults >125 >50 >75

Source: Carmichael IH, 2014. Internal parasitism in Australian alpacas. Proceedings of the Australian Alpaca Association National Conference, Adelaide. May 9-11 2014 pp. 13-28