On treating and preventing gapeworm disease.

Author Clapham, P.A.
Citation Clapham, P.A. (1950). On treating and preventing gapeworm disease. Journal of Helminthology, 24: 53-60.


Syngamus trachea is one of the more difficult parasitic worms to dislodge owing to its position in the trachea. Many contrivances such as twisted feathers and spirals of fine wire have been used for the mechanical removal of the worms. In the hands of experts, they may be reasonably effective, but much injury frequently follows their use by amateurs, and the damage is often severe enough to cause the death of the bird. Anthelmintics which may be administered in food and water are seldom excreted by the lungs or are excreted in such low concentration as to be ineffective. Garlic oil and salicylic acid have been used, but are only very slightly effective and cannot therefore be considered as satisfactory treatments. Many so-called gapeworm cures consist largely of substances which stimulate the respiratory musculature and induce a sudden explosive cough. A few worms may be dislodged by this means, but far more are left, while the strain on the bird must be considerable and may indeed be more than a weakly one, can stand.

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