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Fluke Problem My Be Worse Than Expected

28 October 2013

UK - Farmers are advised to be vigilant agianst fluke as the forecast does not look good, says the National Animal Disease Information Information Service.

Overwintered fluke disease presence looks significant for all regions of the UK except eastern England and the Midlands. 

Northern and western areas are forecast to remain the areas at the biggest risk, continuing to face occasional losses.

Stockmen have been warned that the dry summer and early autumn may lead to a late peak in pasture presence of gutworm larvae, farmers have been warned.

 Additional risk will be on pastures that are wetter and housed cattle should still receive treatment, according to Fiona MacGillivray, Veterinary Advisor for Merial Animal Health.

She added: "Farmers should avoid grazing cattle and sheep on these pastures if at all possible, or where this cannot be avoided, animals should be treated with an appropriate flukicide."

“Housed cattle that have been exposed to infection at pasture will require treatment. If local conditions indicate a likely high risk of disease it would be wise to treat for fluke at or around the time of housing. This will address the effects of adult fluke on production over the winter, such as reduced feed conversion rates and increased finishing times.

“It may be advisable to check for fluke eggs approximately three months later, in case a second treatment is required prior to turnout.”

A housing dose of a larvicidal wormer is advisable for young stock, including spring-born and yearling calves to clear inhibited gutworm larvae and any lungworm infection, she concluded.


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