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Gape

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Introduction

Syngamus trachea, a nematode worm parasite of chickens, turkeys, pheasants, and other game and ornamental birds occurring worldwide. Infection is by the oral route with earthworms, slugs and snails acting as transfer hosts but the life cycle may also be direct, by ingestion of embryonated egg or L3. There is an 18-20 day prepatent period. The condition is seen more commonly in poultry on free range where ground may be contaminated by wild birds e.g. from rookeries.

Signs

  • Gaping.
  • Dyspnoea.
  • Head shaking.
  • Loss of appetite and condition.

Post-mortem lesions

  • Tracheitis.
  • Presence of worms, paired parasites up to 2 cm long.

Diagnosis

Signs and lesions, confirmation of presence of the parasite.

Treatment

Flubendazole in feed, levamisole.

Prevention

Flubendazole.