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Parasite risk high in the UK after summer weather

14 September 2020

Zoetis

Cattle farmers are being advised to get on top of parasites at housing to prevent any production losses, after a warm and wet summer, may have led to an increased risk of mixed worm burdens across the UK.

Housing is an important time to clear out any parasites picked up during grazing to prevent growth rate reductions and health issues, according to vet and integrated beef for StraightLine Beef Rob Drysdale.

“The warm and wet weather we are having could mean livestock are at higher risk of a mixed worm burden. It is vital cattle are housed free of worms, fluke, and external parasites such as lice and mange mites to prevent production losses and housing provides the ideal time to do this,” he said.

Mr Drysdale says faecal egg count tests to detect worms and coproantigen tests to detect fluke should be used in combination with farm history and symptoms to determine the issue and whether there is a worm burden, fluke burden, or both (mixed burden).

“Calves that are not performing at grass could also be indicative of a parasite problem and should be treated,” Mr Drysdale said.

Should a mixed burden be an issue then farmers should look to use an appropriate product to treat the problem. He added: “To control a mixed burden the best way is to use a product such as CYDECTIN TriclaMox Cattle Pour-On as it is a combination product that will treat for gutworms, lungworm, lice, mites as well as late immature and adult fluke.

“Lungworm can be particularly problematic at housing as they can often be present without any symptoms. However, when animals are stressed that is when they can cause problems. Lungworm can be a major issue because of the respiratory impact it has.

“Always work with your animal health care provider when drawing up a parasite control plan,” he added.

When worming stock make sure you:

  • Weigh animals and dose to the heavier weight (if the weights are similar)
  • Check dosing guns are calibrated
  • Check the wormer you are using is within date and has been stored correctly
  • Make sure your equipment is fit for purpose
  • Check how you apply it i.e. pour-on, subcutaneously, etc
  • Buy your products ahead of the housing season so you are well prepared

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