Story: Diseases of sheep, cattle and deer

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis

When a pregnant ewe becomes infected with toxoplasmosis, she usually suffers an early abortion – it is the major cause of abortions in sheep in New Zealand. The disease is caused by a protozoan organism that is mainly a parasite of cats but also needs another species such as a sheep or mouse to complete its life cycle. This photograph shows the effect of the disease on several pairs of twin lambs – one of each pair is relatively normal and the other is smaller and mummified.

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Reference: D. M. West, A. N. Bruere and A. L. Ridler, The sheep: health, disease & production. Palmerston North: Veterinary Continuing Education, Massey University, 2002, fig.

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How to cite this page:

Gary Clark, Neville Grace and Ken Drew, 'Diseases of sheep, cattle and deer - Reproductive and nervous system diseases', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/17438/toxoplasmosis (accessed 8 August 2020)

Story by Gary Clark, Neville Grace and Ken Drew, published 24 Nov 2008