Barberpole Worms

Orange essential oil is studied to be effective against barberpole worm specifically. For a BP issue, this is the protocol I would use in my Nigerian herd. Start with a fecal if possible. Double all dosages for standard sized goats:

  • 1 drop lemongrass EO
  • 1 drop oregano EO
  • 2-4 drops sweet orange EO
  • 3-5ml blackstrap molasses diluted enough to drench*
  • 1/2 teaspoon nettle leaf powder*

You can buy all three of these oils in my Goat Essentials set.

*While I ordinarily use olive oil for the dilution in an essential oil dose, we’re adding molasses and nettle here specifically to combat barberpole induced anemia.  Molasses and nettle are both high in iron, nutritive and a powerful boost for this treatment.  You can add in or substitute with chlorophyll as well, just be sure to get unflavored/no mint chlorophyll.  See also my complete anemia protocol.

Dosed orally:

  • 4x daily 3 days
  • then 3x daily for 2 days
  • then 2x daily for 2 days
  • then 1x daily for 2-3 more days, assessing each day to determine if stepping down a dose is a suitable approach.

While I will step down the essential oil dose, I would continue to dose the nettle + blackstrap molasses 4x daily. So if dosing EOs 3x daily, add nettle + blackstrap to those 3 doses and dose nettle + blackstrap one more time separately.  Blackstrap + nettle can be dosed for a couple of weeks if needed.  If that much support is needed, I would also add kelp and chlorophyll.

It is totally acceptable to add double or even triple the sweet orange; sweet orange has a very high margin of safety in and out of pregnancy. For pregnant goats, feel free to eliminate the oregano if you are concerned. See the oregano in pregnancy topic and pick up a copy of the book Essential Oil Safety by Tisserand if you would like a detailed authority on EOs – it’s what I reference frequently for researching topics like this.

Send in a follow up fecal to assess results and determine the next course of action.  By sending in before and after fecal samples, you can verify if what you’re doing is working in your specific situation, but don’t wait to begin treatment until you have fecal results because usually with a BP overload time is of the essence.

Research on Barberpole Worms

Haemonchotolerance in West African Dwarf goats: contribution to sustainable, anthelmintics-free helminth control in traditionally managed Nigerian dwarf goats


West African Dwarf (WAD) goats are extremely important in the rural village economy of West Africa, but still little is known about their biology, ecology and capacity to cope with gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infections. Here, we summarise the history of this breed and explain its economic importance in rural West Africa. We review recent work showing that Nigerian WAD goats are highly trypanotolerant and resist infections with Haemonchus contortus more effectively than other breeds of domestic goat (haemonchotolerance). We believe that haemonchotolerance is largely responsible for the generally low level GIN infections and absence of clinical haemonchosis in WADs under field conditions, and has contributed to the relatively successful and sustainable, anthelmintics-free, small-scale system of goat husbandry in Nigeria’s humid zone, and is immunologically based and genetically controlled. If haemonchotolerance can be shown to be genetically controlled, it should be possible to exploit the underlying genes to improve GIN resistance among productive fibre and milk producing breeds of goats, most of which are highly susceptible to nematode infections. Genetic resistance to GIN and trypanosome infections would obviate the need for expensive chemotherapy, mostly unaffordable to small-holder farmers in Africa, and a significant cost of goat husbandry in more developed countries. Either introgression of resistance alleles into susceptible breeds by conventional breeding, or transgenesis could be used to develop novel parasite-resistant, but highly productive breeds, or to improve the resistance of existing breeds, benefitting the local West African rural economy as well as global caprine livestock agriculture.

Fighting the Enemy: Controlling Barber Pole Worms in Sheep and Goats

A Review: Haemonchus contortus Infection in Pasture-Based Sheep Production Systems, with a Focus on the Pathogenesis of Anaemia and Changes in Haematological Parameters


Simple Summary

Infection with Haemonchus contortus parasites (haemonchosis) is an important cause of anaemia in sheep. Haemonchosis is a global problem, although sheep that are kept in warm, high rainfall environments are at the greatest risk of infection due to the favourable conditions for H. contortus survival. Following ingestion, the parasites develop in the abomasum of sheep. Various factors such as age, breed, health, nutritional status, and larval challenge influence the severity of clinical disease. Hyperacute, acute, and chronic haemonchosis are reviewed, focusing on the pathophysiology of haemonchosis, associated clinical signs, and haematological and biochemical findings.


Haemonchosis is an important cause of anaemia in sheep worldwide, particularly those that are kept in pasture-based systems in warm, high rainfall environments. Potential outcomes vary based on the severity of infection and the sheep’s immune response, however, in some sheep infection can lead to death. The consequences of Haemonchus contortus infection mean that it has been well-studied in a range of different farming systems. However, to our knowledge, there has not been a recent review focused on the pathophysiology of anaemia caused by haemonchosis. Thus, this review provides an in-depth discussion of the literature related to the pathophysiology of haemonchosis and associated clinical signs for hyperacute, acute, and chronic haemonchosis. Additionally, haematological and biochemical findings are presented, and various diagnostic methods are assessed.

Keywords: parasite, barbers pole, small ruminant, nematode, gastrointestinal parasite, worm

A new paraprobiotic-based treatment for control of Haemonchus contortus in sheep


Haemonchus contortus is a critical parasite of goats and sheep. Infection by this blood-feeding gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) parasite has significant health consequences, especially in lambs and kids. The parasite has developed resistance to virtually all known classes of small molecule anthelmintics used to treat it, giving rise in some areas to multidrug resistant parasites that are very difficult to control. Thus, new anthelmintics are urgently needed. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystal protein 5B (Cry5B), a naturally occurring protein made by a bacterium widely and safely used around the world as a bioinsecticide, represents a new non-small molecule modality for treating GINs. Cry5B has demonstrated anthelmintic activities against parasites of monogastric animals, including some related to those that infect humans, but has not yet been studied in a ruminant. Here we show that H. contortus adults are susceptible to Cry5B protein in vitro. Cry5B produced in its natural form as a spore-crystal lysate against H. contortus infections in goats had no significant efficacy. However, a new Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) paraprobiotic form of Cry5B called IBaCC (Inactivated Bacterium with Cytosolic Crystals), in which Cry5B crystals are encapsulated in dead Bt cell wall ghosts, showed excellent efficacy in vitro against larval stages of H. contortus and relative protein stability in bovine rumen fluid. When given to sheep experimentally infected with H. contortus as three 60 mg/kg doses, Cry5B IBaCC resulted in significant reductions in fecal egg counts (90%) and parasite burdens (72%), with a very high impact on female parasites (96% reduction). These data indicate that Cry5B IBaCC is a potent new treatment tool for small ruminants in the battle against H. contortus.

Pathology, Postmortem findings, life cycle information on haemonchus contortus (barberpole).

The anatomy and life-history of Haemonchus contortus (Rud.)


In this very long article the author details the results of experimental work commenced in 1911 at the instigation of Sir Arnold THEILER, the Director of Veterinary Research for the Union of South Africa, with the object of obtaining accurate data on which a scientific prophylactic treatment for haemonchosis in sheep could be based. The enormous economic losses caused by this worm are, of course, well known in most parts of the world; hence the author was well justified in devoting such a large amount of patient research to the anatomy, morphology, and cycle of development of the worm. This article, and more especially the parts dealing with the bionomics of the parasite, has been pretty fully extracted in the Journal of Comparative Pathology and Therapeutics, 1916, Sept. Vol. 29. Part 3. pp. 265-277. It is felt that insufficient justice could be done to this work by an extract of the length usually inserted in this Bulletin. The work represents probably one of the best studies in veterinary helminthology that has yet been published. A very large part of the work is devoted to anatomical and morphological details, but the chapters dealing with the influence of the environment on the eggs and larvae, migration of the mature larvae, and the parasitic life of the larva and adult worm provide very instructive reading.

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