Oocyte 70 to 80 µm long by 30 to 42 µm wide.
Unembryonated, brownish in color, with transparent plugs at both ends.
The cecum is a blind pouch found at the junction of the small and large intestine.
Its function in ruminants is mainly to absorb water.
The adult whipworm lives in the cecum.
The front (anterior) end is very long and thin which gives this parasite its name.
The female whipworm is 35 to 70 mm (up to 3 inches) long
The female lays a small number unembryonated eggs which pass out with the feces.
The egg is very resistant. It can survive for 6 months or more in moist soil.
The first stage embryo takes about 3 weeks to develop
at optimum temperature of 75° to 85°F (25° to 30°C).
Moisture is necessary for the larva to develop.
Eggs are ingested with contaminated food or water.
The end plugs are dissolved in the duodenum.
The first stage larva escapes from the egg.
The larva then makes its way through the small intestine to the cecum.
Larvae penetrate the lining of the cecum where they feed and grow.
About 4 weeks after the infective egg was first ingested,
the larva leaves the lining of the cecum and molts
to the the second stage.
The second stage larva penetrates the lining and feeds for about 3 more weeks.
The second stage larva then leaves the lining and molts to the third stage larva.
About 12 weeks after the infective egg was first ingested,
several more molts take place to the adult egg laying stage.
The thin anterior end is embedded in the lining of the cecum.
This parasite of the cecum is generally considered to be harmless.
A large infection could cause unthriftiness or diarrhea in a young animal.
Other species of whipworm can cause more serious problems in other animals.
Since the worm penetrates the tissue the goat or sheep can develop an immunity.