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Fasciola gigantica in Ruminants

(Giant Liver Fluke)


Lora R. Ballweber

, DVM, MS, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University

Last full review/revision Nov 2021 | Content last modified Dec 2021

Fasciola gigantica is similar in shape to F hepatica but is longer (75 mm), with less clearly defined shoulders, and is 12 mm wide. It is found in warmer climates (Asia, Africa) in cattle and buffalo, in which it is responsible for chronic fascioliasis, and in sheep, in which the disease is frequently acute and fatal. The life cycle is similar to that of F hepatica, except most parasitic phases are longer, the prepatent period is 10–16 weeks, and the species of snail intermediate hosts are different. An entire life cycle takes at least 20 weeks. The pathology of infection, diagnostic procedures, and control measures are similar to those for F hepatica (see Fasciola hepatica in Ruminants Fasciola hepatica in Ruminants Fasciola hepatica is one of the most important flukes of domestic ruminants worldwide, causing liver fluke disease (liver rot, fascioliasis). Chronic liver fluke disease is more common in cattle... read more Fasciola hepatica in Ruminants ).

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A 7-year-old gelding undergoes sedation for a standing surgery to clean and close a wound on the left forelimb. He is returned to his stall afterward, and several hours later he is observed to have nasal discharge containing feed material. He is also drooling, grinding his teeth, and intermittently coughing or retching. Which of the following conditions is most likely causing these clinical signs?
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