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Endoparasite Control (Cattle)

As resistance to modern anthelminthics increases, it is more important than ever to have a plan on your farm to reduce worm and fluke burdens in young stock and adult cattle and sheep.

It is important to remember that there are only 3 classes of anthelminthic available for the use in cattle. They are:

  • White drenches (e.g. Panacur)
  • Yellow drenches and pour-ons (e.g. Levacur drench, Ripercol pour-on and Combinex)
  • Avermectin (clear) drenches, injections and pour-ons (e.g. Ivermectin, Eprinex, Cydectin, Dectomax, Closamectin)

Rotate the 3 classes of anthelminthics on a 3 yearly basis, but at housing use a white drench or avermectin product to prevent winter scours.

Over reliance on anthelminthic usage can be reduced by combining their use with:

  • pasture rotation
  • grazing cattle after sheep
  • after-math grazing
  • optimum stocking densities
  • vaccination (husk-vac)

If adult cattle are exposed to worms at regular frequencies throughout the grazing season, they will maintain adequate levels of immunity to protect them from lung worms and gastrointestinal worms.

Cattle and sheep never develop good immunity to liver fluke. Because the liver fluke is dependent on a small snail for its life cycle, the parasite is more widespread in wet areas, poorly drained ground or areas with high rainfall.

The most common treatments for liver fluke are:

  • Tricladbendazole (e.g. Fasinex, Combinex)
  • Nitroxynil (e.g. Trodax)
  • Closantel (e.g. Closamectin injection or pour-on)
  • Clorsulon (e.g. Ivomec super)

We normally advise farmers to treat dairy cows at drying-off. Suckler cows and all grazing young-stock should be treated in autumn and then again in winter. During periods of heavy rainfall or if cattle have been grazing wet land, additional treatments may be required.

It is advisable to test your bulk milk in autumn for the presence of liver fluke antibodies.