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Weight loss and liver fluke disease risks now at peak levels.

WEIGHT loss and reduced performance due to liver fluke disease in housed and out-wintered beef cattle are likely to be reaching peak levels now, according to the January NADIS Parasite Forecast, sponsored by Merial Animal Health.

Fiona MacGillivray, veterinary health adviser for Merial Animal Health, said: "Information on liver fluke damage should be requested from slaughterhouses to give an indication of the level of disease in the herd.

"This will help to inform control measures on individual farms and determine the ideal treatment policy.

"If cattle were not treated at the time of housing, a dose of nitroxynil (Trodax) or closantel should be given now to remove liver flukes picked up from pasture before animals were brought in."

She said dairy cows can also suffer reduced milk yield, lower quality milk and poorer fertility - despite adequate feeding but treatment of liver fluke in dairy cows is more diffi-cult.

She said an increased risk of type 2 ostertagiosis is also likely this winter with large numbers of larvae inhibited in the abomasal wall due to a late challenge from autumn pastures.

"If cattle were not treated with an anthelmintic at housing, now is the time to dose with a larvicidal wormer which will also remove lungworm infection," she said.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 7, 2014
Words:208
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