‘Sheep measles’ is the intermediate or ‘larval cystic’ stage of a particular tapeworm, Taenia ovis.
It occurs in Australia wherever there are sheep or goats - and dogs.
The life cycle of Taenia ovis is similar to that of the hydatid tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosus.
The dog is the final or definitive host and harbours the adults of both tapeworm species in its intestines.
The adult Taenia ovis tapeworm is about 2 m long; the adult hydatid tapeworm is tiny, about 4-6 mm.
This Primefact gives a brief overview of sheep measles, as well as other larval cestodes of sheep, cattle and other animals. It also includes a comparison table of various larval cestodes (tapeworms) in sheep and cattle.