UK – Graziers are being told to expect a heavy parasite challenge over the coming weeks brought on by warm and wet weather conditions.
These are ideal conditions for parasites, according to the latest National Animal Disease Information Service parasite forecast.
And while the south east of England could see delayed hatching conditions due to dry weather, much of the UK could expect eggs on pasture developing into infectious larval stages in the next month to six weeks.
Livestock veterinary surgeon, Peers Davies, recommends vigilance for roundworms, tapeworms, and blowfly strike in sheep and lungworm in cattle.
Lungworm in cattle
We are now entering the key risk period for lungworm, advised Mr Davies.
He said "very severe" cases can be seen in the absence of anthelmintic controls and in naïve adults entering a herd and unvaccinated calves.
He said: “It is important we recognise the early signs of lungworm, which include coughing after exercise and then at rest when infection becomes more established.
“Effected cattle lose weight, they don’t want to eat and they lose body condition very quickly.”
Farmers area now in the highest risk period for blowfly strike in sheep, according to the NADIS forecast.
Mr Davies warned that strike can occur after shearing and advised farmers to be vigilant and wary of the condition on shoulders and also feet, where it can flare up on sheep with footrot and scald.
He recommended farmers be vigilant, particularly in warm and wet conditions and said no product is 100 per cent effective in preventing strike.
Danger of Anthelmintic Resistance
Dealing with roundworms and maintaining anthelmintic efficacy is a balance. Effectively it is a trade-off between lamb performance and resistance, explained Mr Davies.
He suggested farmers either targeting individual underperforming lambs or using whole group treatments based on faecal egg counts.
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