Lungworm in cattle

Lungworm in cattle

Over the past few years there has been an increase in lungworm outbreaks across the UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland. We are sharing this short article from vetPartners outlining the crucial role of management factors and the dangers of over-reliance on wormers with you. 

Risk periods

Lungworm outbreaks are traditionally thought of and most common from July-October. Changing weather patterns have seen a shift to earlier infections and more severe outbreaks. Animals are certainly put out to grass early if weather permits, however treatments protocols do not always get adapted.

Risk of disease increases in fields after spells of heat followed by spells of rain and overcast warm weather, and in fields after previously unexposed and untreated animals.

Early diagnosis and prompt effective treatment of sick animals

There are scenarios where lungworm is wrongly ruled out as a possible cause of respiratory disease in the field, for instance early in the grazing season. Especially on farms with a history of lungworm outbreaks, lungworm should always be considered. Early diagnosis of lungworm in affected animals is very important. Affected animals should receive effective anthelmintic treatment promptly.

Lungworm causes severe damage to the lungs meaning animals are more likely to suffer from secondary pneumonia caused by either viruses or bacteria and veterinary advice should be sought to make sure no further treatment is needed.

Treatment to control

Control of lungworm disease is based on the development of an immune response of (first year) grazing animals to lungworm. Field management and other management practices need to be used to manage exposure to lungworm. There is a fine line between exposure to generate this immune response and overwhelming infections with severe losses. Good animal husbandry and vaccination support the animal’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to challenges and develop an effective immune response.

There are many different cattle wormers available that treat lungworm, however there is a vaccine available which is the best method of prevention. Lungworm is an unpredictable disease, but that does not mean you cannot adapt farm practices to minimise risk of disease. If experience tells us that risk is high, we need to take measure to reduce that risk.

Bovilis Huskvac 12 pack
£110.00 ex VAT£132.00 inc VAT
Eprizero Pour On CattleEprizero Pour On Cattle
from £79.95 ex VATfrom £95.94 inc VAT

Eprecis 20 mg/ml Injection for Cattle, Sheep & Goats
from £97.92 ex VATfrom £117.50 inc VAT
Dectomax Pour OnDectomax Pour On
from £75.98 ex VATfrom £91.18 inc VAT

1st March 2023

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