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Barber’s pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is a blood sucking roundworm of sheep and goats, with minor crossover into cattle.

The worm gets its name from the ‘Barber-pole’ colouration of the female worm as its blood-filled intestine and uterus intertwine.

Typically, Barber’s pole worms favour warm, humid conditions.

Its lifecycle is like other roundworms.

The eggs are passed in an animal’s faeces, they hatch, develop to an infectious stage, are eaten by a susceptible animal and develop into an adult worm in the animal’s fourth stomach.

Signs of Barber’s pole worm include anaemia due to blood loss and lethargy.

Affected animals may flop down when mustered briskly and have extremely pale inner eyelids and gums.

All body condition types can be affected and in more chronic cases you may see ‘bottle-jaw’ due to loss of blood protein.