Twelve free-ranging Rocky Mountain bighorn lambs (Ovis canadensis canadensis), each exposed experimentally to 125–1,000 infective third-stage larvae of Protostrongylus stilesi and P. rushi, shed significantly more first-stage larvae in their feces than did control lambs, but showed no clinical signs of illness and had equivalent summer and overwinter survival as control lambs. Two adult ewes, each exposed to 925 infective larvae, showed no increase in numbers of first-stage larvae in their feces; both survived at least 14 mo postexposure. Experimentally exposed lambs did not differ from control lambs in numbers of larvae in their feces in the following summer. Three experimental lambs had 313–402 adult P. stilesi and 0–97 adult P. rushi on necropsy; two control lambs had 255 and 270 P. stilesi and no P. rushi. The presence of these numbers of lungworms did not appear to be sufficient to precipitate lungworm pneumonia in bighorn lambs under the conditions of this study.
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Vol. 23 • No. 3