2013-05-01 xml
Don’t Forget to Treat Cattle for Fluke at Grazing this Season

Despite the cold winter this year, liver fluke is still likely to be a problem on many farms this grazing season warns the COWS* Industry Stakeholder Group.

Any wet areas in fields can provide a habitat for the snail intermediate host and increase the risk of fluke infection. Such pastures should be avoided but if this is not possible, cattle grazing on high risk pastures may need to be dosed with a flukicide between 10 to 12 weeks after turnout. ‘This will reduce fluke egg output and therefore lessen the risk of infection later in the season, as well as improve performance at grass’ explains, veterinary consultant Dr Dermot Mackie, of the COWS group.

Whitebred Shorthoren X Highland Steers

All categories of cattle may require treatment depending on local risk factors and prevailing weather conditions. Products active against adult fluke can be used at any time of the year but those containing triclabendazole should be used in preference in late summer or early autumn, when immature fluke are often present.

Combination fluke and worm products should only be used when burdens of roundworms and fluke are likely to be present simultaneously. The decision to use combination treatments should be based on knowledge of the parasites’ epidemiology supplemented with the use of diagnostic worm egg counts. All treatment choices should be made with the advice of your veterinary surgeon or suitably qualified person. Also keep in mind the meat/milk withdrawal periods for beef and dairy cattle.

As with all anthelmintic treatments, it is imperative that animals are dosed according to their liveweight. Read the information leaflet in the pack and follow dosing instructions carefully.

Efficacy of flukicides available for use in cattle in the UK

Medicine Table

# resistance may be an issue with this class of anthelmintic and advice should be sought from a vet or SQP regarding efficacy testing

*COWS is an industry initiative aiming to promote best practise in the control of cattle parasites.


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