Parasite Risk in #Sheep, #Cattle with Warm Weather

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Dairy and beef cattle are at risk of husk, caused by infection with the cattle lungworm from June onwards. Unvaccinated calves, naïve adult cattle and those without an effective anthelmintic programme face the greatest threat.

Early signs of lungworm include coughing after periods of exertion and progress to more severe compromise, with coughing at rest, increased respiratory rate, and difficulty breathing. Prompt recognition and treatment is critical.

“Early intervention significantly reduces costs and the impact on productivity. A diagnosis should be sought from the farm’s vet at the first sign of symptoms, “ advises Sioned. “Treatment with a fast acting zero milk withhold wormer with up to 28 days of persistent activity, such as Eprinex® (eprinomectin) provides effective control without the loss of milk sales.”

Incidents of parasitic disease caused by gutworms, including Ostertagia ostertagi, peak in August and September, though even low levels of worm challenge can reduce growth rates by up to 30% in beef calves and dairy replacement heifers.

Strategic control with a broad-spectrum wormer such as IVOMEC® Classic (ivermectin) can reduce the impact of parasites in autumn/winter born calves in their first grazing season, and spring-born suckler claves in their second grazing season. Those animals receiving strategic treatments must remain set stocked for the entire grazing period or moved to aftermaths when they become available. read more…

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A new initiative to help the UK sheep industry

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A new initiative has been launched to help the UK sheep industry develop a proactive approach to maximising output by optimising flock performance.

Project L.A.M.B., by MSD Animal Health, aims to enhance the relationship between sheep farmers and their vet.

The project places the emphasis firmly on preventative healthcare to boost flock productivity and minimise the risk of loss.

Using the sheep calendar year to ensure seasonal and specific focus, Project L.A.M.B. assists vet practices with timely and targeted communications for up-to-date information, with farmer meetings, and with subsidised diagnostic services.

“The continued focus on reducing the use of antibiotics in farmed livestock means it’s vital that the whole British sheep industry embraces active flock health planning.

“It’s undoubtedly the route to better flock productivity in a challenging lamb market, better animal health and improved farm efficiency,” says Sean Riches from MSD Animal Health.

“Good records are an essential part of benchmarking your flock’s performance and using them to measure and monitor farm targets should form the basis of all flock health plans.

“They allow good producers to measure where and why losses may have occurred.

Review flock performance

“Project L.A.M.B. enables vets to access a simple tool that helps review flock performance with their sheep farmer clients,” he says.

Mr Riches adds that there are good examples of flocks that have improved productivity by investing in an on-going partnership with their vet.

“In these situations spending money on preventative healthcare is, more often than not, better than on medicines to treat a disease.

“It also potentially leads to reduced time for gathering and handling the sheep, resulting in less stress all around.”

read more…