Disease factsheets

Sheep Connect Tasmania has developed a range of short, practical factsheets in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) to help sheep producers identify and manage key diseases impacting their enterprises.

Arthritis in sheep is an inflammation of the joints (usually in the legs). When multiple joints are affected, the condition is referred to as polyarthritis. Click here for the factsheet.

Bladder worm, also known as Cysticercus tenuicollis, is the cystic stage of the dog tapeworm Taenia hydatigena. Despite a similar name, this parasite is not the same as hydatids. Click here for the factsheet.

Cheesy gland is a contagious bacterial disease in sheep and goats caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. It produces abscesses in the lymph glands throughout the body. Common locations of superficial abscesses in sheep are the crease between shoulder and neck, the flank fold and the groin area. Click here for the factsheet.

Footrot causes significant production loss and animal welfare issues in affected flocks. Producers can eradicate virulent footrot if they can reduce disease prevalence to a level where all remaining infected sheep can be culled. This factsheet summarises the process of eradicating virulent footrot using specific vaccines. Click here for the factsheet.

Hydatids are the cystic stage of the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm. The tiny tapeworm is only 3mm–6mm long and lives in the intestines of dogs and, to a lesser extent, foxes and dingos. The cysts form in the organs of intermediate host animals. Click here for the factsheet.

Liver fluke are grey or brown, flat, leaf-shaped parasites that live in the bile ducts of sheep livers. Adult flukes are about 2cm long and 1cm wide. Click here for the factsheet.

Ovine Johne’s disease (OJD): the not-so-hidden costs. Culling early, before wastage has gone too far (middle carcase), can prevent signifi cant impacts on carcase weights, quality and income. Click here for the factsheet.

Sarcocystis is a single-celled organism and a two-host parasite. This means it requires two different hosts (a prey intermediate host and a predator primary host) to complete its life cycle. There are many species of sarcocystis (and many different hosts), but the sarcocystis that damages sheep carcases has the cat as predator host. Click here for the factsheet.

Sheep measles, also known as Cysticercus ovis, is the cystic stage of the dog tapeworm (Taenia ovis). Despite a similar name and life cycle, this parasite is not the same as bladder worm (Taenia hydatigena) or hydatids (Echinococcus granulosus). The cysts form in the organs of intermediate host animals. Click here for the factsheet.

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Cats are the primary host in the life cycle of the parasite and they can carry the parasite indefinitely without any subsequent health impacts. Toxoplasmosis can cause early or late abortion in sheep and producers may only notice the disease impacts as a low lambing percentage. Click here for the factsheet.