SHEEP &parasites



A small-holder's flock needs a bespoke worming program. The commercial herd-medicine approach doesn't apply when every individual is important. We want to ensure your prize winning ram stays in champion condition, and help you get every lamb in perfect health.

Recommended worm egg count frequency: 4 times per year

Highest risk periods: after flooding, 3-4 month old kids

Sheep WEC: £12.50

for up to 5 named samples

Including fluke, coccidia and lungworm

This can be a mix&match of species across the farm


aka the Nematodes:

Teladorsagia, Trichostrongylus, Cooperia, Oesophagostomum



Lower milk production

Poor condition

Slow growth rate

Midline or jaw oedema



aka Barbers Pole Worm:

Haemonchus contortus



Weight Loss


Sudden death

Normal Poos


aka the Cestodes:

Monezia, Thysanosoma


Look horrible when wriggling out - but surprisingly harmless!

Heavy burdens in Lambs cause:


Reduced gut motility

Gut rupture & peritonitis


aka Coccidiosis:



Mainly affects lambs:

Diarrhoea (often pasty)

Blood & mucus in faeces

Skinny & weak

Abdominal Pain

Permanent gut damage

Healthy adults will often have coccidia in their faeces - interpret positive samples with care before using a coccidiostat



aka Fasciola:

Fasciola hepatica, Fascioloides magna


Anorexia & depression

Weakness & dry faeces

Increased respiratory rate

Ascites (belly fluid)


Sudden death


Dictyocaulus filaria, Muellerius capillaris, Protostrongylus rufescens



Nasal discharge

Increased respiratory rate

Poor condition

Weight loss


Cysticercus tenuicollis - the larval stage of the dog tapeworm Taenia hydatigena


Mainly asymptomatic

large numbers cause liver failure:




aka Crypto:

Cryptosporidium parvum


5-10 day old lambs

active, alert & feeding well

very liquid diarrhoea

yellow diarrhoea



Good parasite control is about more than using a drug every 3 months,

you can reduce risk & use of anthelminthic drugs:

  • do not graze with goats or camelids (they share worms)

  • do graze with horses (they 'hoover-up' sheep worms)

  • Avoid previously flooded grazing

  • Avoid mud-snail areas, eg by streams

  • Encourage foraging behaviour

  • Feed hay in a rack, never the floor

  • Rotational graze

  • Increase dietary protein in lambs

  • Ensure new animals have a clear faeces check

  • Be fastidious with food & water bowl cleanliness


Focus On: Coccidia

The dreaded coccidia!

Why is it such bad news?

This tiny parasite (Eimeria) infects the gut lining of young lambs. The initial inflammation causes severe diarrhoea.

This inflammation then permanently scars, the animal will always be a 'Poor-Doer'.

The biggest problem - this scarring starts before shedding coccidia in faeces, so a positive test in a sick lamb is already too late.

To add to this complex bug's trouble - healthy adult sheep & goats will have a normal population of coccidia living in their bowels - giving a positive test result when nothing is wrong.

As if that all wasn't bad enough - the treatment is difficult. No drug kills all the parasites. Decocquinate, Lasalosid and Monensin and Diclazuril will all help to reduce parasitic load, and should be used to treat in-contact kids & lambs.

Diclazuril (Vecoxan) can be given to all lambs or kids at 4-6 weeks of age on farms known to have a coccidia problem.

To add insult to injury - the bug is extremely difficult to kill in the environment. Sunlight & Ammonia are the only two things to kill this bug reliably.

The key to Coccidia Sucess? Prevention is Better than Cure.


  • Kids & lambs 1-6 months old

  • Brown, watery diarrhoea

  • Blood & mucus in faeces

  • Poor appetite

  • Dehydration

  • Weakness

  • Rough coat

  • Weight loss

  • Fading away & death 


Affected Lambs:

  • Vecoxan 0.25mls / Kg by mouth, repeated after 3 weeks​

  • Aggressive fluid therapy - orally with electrolyte solutions and/or subcutaneous saline

  • Antibiotics for secondary infection

  • Hand feeding

In contact lambs:​

  • Vecoxan 0.25mls / Kg by mouth, repeated after 3 weeks​


  • Clear away all faeces & bedding

  • Try to encourage as much natural sunlight as possible - coccidi are killed by UV light

  • Get kids & lambs outside as soon as possible

  • Reduce stocking density

  • Clean everything with an ammonia based cleaner, eg superkill max.

  • Change water buckets daily


  • Control build up of manure or waste

  • Ensure good natural daylight

  • Maintain low stocking densities indoors

  • Keep water sources totally clear of faecal contamination

  • Clean indoor housing with ammonia before the start of lambing or kidding season

Known coccidia environments:

Treat kids & lambs with vecoxan (or similar coccidia treatment) at 4 weeks old, and at times of stress - weaning, moving

Small Holder's Worm Advice Service

Tomtebo, Nickley Wood Road, Ashford, Kent TN26 1LZ