Two bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in New Mexico (USA) were found to be naturally infected with Elaeophora schneideri. An adult ram examined in 1997 in the Fra Cristobal Mountains had 26 nematodes in the carotid and iliac arteries, and microfilariae were present in the skin, nasal mucosa, brain, and lungs. This ram was markedly debilitated prior to euthanasia and extensive crusty, scabby lesions were observed on its head. In 1998, a yearling ewe found dead adjacent to Watson Mountain near the Gila Wilderness area was found to have 13 nematodes present in its heart. This is the first report of E. schneideri in bighorn sheep, and we suggest that bighorn sheep are susceptible to E. schneideri infection wherever they coexist with mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) and appropriate tabanid vectors.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4