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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 testing frequency: 4 times per year

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

ROUNDWORMS

aka the Nematodes:

Teladorsagia, Trichostrongylus, Cooperia, Oesophagostomum

SYMPTOMS

Diarrhoea

Lower milk production

Poor condition

Slow growth rate

Midline or jaw oedema

Death

haemonchus

aka Barbers Pole Worm:

Haemonchus contortus

SYMPTOMS

Anaemia

Weight Loss

Lethargy

Sudden death

Normal Poos

tapeworm

aka the Cestodes:

Monezia, Thysanosoma

SYMPTOMS

Look horrible when wriggling out - but surprisingly harmless!

Heavy burdens in Lambs cause:

Anorexia

Reduced gut motility

Gut rupture & peritonitis

coccidia 

aka Coccidiosis:

Eimeria

SYMPTOMS

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

 

LIVER FLUKE

aka Fasciola:

Fasciola hepatica, Fascioloides magna

SYMPTOMS

Anorexia & depression

Weakness & dry faeces

Increased respiratory rate

Ascites (belly fluid)

Colic

Sudden death

LUNGWORMS

Dictyocaulus filaria, Muellerius capillaris, Protostrongylus rufescens

SYMPTOMS

Cough

Nasal discharge

Increased respiratory rate

Poor condition

Weight loss

cYSTICERCOSIS 

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

SYMPTOMS

Mainly asymptomatic

large numbers cause liver failure:

depression

weakness

CRYPTOSPORIDIUM

aka Crypto:

Cryptosporidium parvum

SYMPTOMS

5-10 day old lambs

active, alert & feeding well

very liquid diarrhoea

yellow diarrhoea

 

Worming Treatment Options

  • The main wormers suitable for sheep are listed.

  • Levamisole is not listed due to too many adverse effects, an exact weight is required to safely use this drug.

  • POM-V products require a vet prescription, POM-VPS are obtained from a licensed pharmacist (inc online) who will ask some relevant questions

  • The 'Top-Shelf' wormers such as Zolvix (Monepantel), Supaverm (Closantel & Mebendazole) are not listed - these should only be used after in depth discussion with a vet.

Eprinex Multi Pour-on

Licensed wormer, requires prescription from your vet. Broad spectrum, easy to administer. The ONLY wormer with no milk withdrawal - perfect for diary herds. Toxic to some other species (esp Collie Dogs) - read instructions carefully. POM-V (don't confuse with Eprinex Pour-on)

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat Withdrawal

1 day

ZERO

1 mg / Kg

Pour-on skin

Eprinomectin

Treats: roundworms, haemonchus, lungworm

Brand names: Eprinex Multi 

Albendazole

Broad spectrum, never use within 30 days of conception (either side of mating), avoid throughout pregnancy. Can treat Fluke - but not 100% effective.  POM/VPS

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat Withdrawal

4-5 days

Not to be used in milking sheep

7.5 mg/Kg

Oral

Albendazole

Treats: roundworms, haemonchus, lungworm, tapeworms & flukes

Brand names: Endospec, Rycoben, Albex

Moxidectin

Broad spectrum, easy to administer. POM-VPS. The different formulations have different withdrawal periods - read instructions carefully. Cydectin Injection should not be used in dairy herds, whereas Cydectin Oral has only 120 hour milk withdrawal & just 14 days meat withdrawal.

Available in combination product with an added Flukicide: 'Cydectin Triclamox'

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat Withdrawal

oral: 14 days

Inj: 70 days

Oral: 5 days

Inj: Do not use

0.2 mg / Kg

Oral, Injection

Moxidectin

Treats: roundworms, haemonchus, lungworm

Brand names: moxodex, cydectin, 

Fenbendazole 10%

Brand name Panacur - but alternatives available. Often known as 'White Wormer'.  POM/VPS

Each brand has a different withdrawal period, read instructions carefully. Zerofen should not be used in dairy herds

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk withdrawal

Meat Withdrawal

PANACUR: 15 days

ZEROFEN: 21 days

PANACUR: 7 days

ZEROFEN: Do not use

5 mg / Kg

Oral Liquid

Fenbendazole

Treats: roundworms, haemonchus, tapeworms

Brand names: Panacur, Zerofen, generic fenbendazole

Ivermectin

Broad spectrum wormer (not Flukes). Easy to administer orally or by injection. POM/VPS

Follow datasheets carefully for sheep - do not use in last 60 days of gestation or during lactation. 

Available as a combination product (eg FasimecDuo) with triclabendazole for fluke treatment

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat withdrawal

42 days

60 days ***

0.2 mg / Kg

Oral, injection, spot-on

Ivermectin

Treats: roundworms, haemonchus, lungworm, mites & ticks

Brand names: oramec, noromec (oral), panomec, ivomec, noromectin, bimectin (inj), panomec, ivomec (pour-ons)

Verm-X

Organic in-feed additive. No data to support efficacy.

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat withdrawal

ZERO

ZERO

10g / head for 7 days

granules

NONE

Ingredients: Wheat Meal, Wheatfeed Meal, Micronised Beet Pulp, Limestone Flour, Cinnamon, Garlic, Common Thyme, Peppermint, Fennel, Cleavers, Nettle, Sunflower Oil, Slippery Elm, Quassia, Cayenne, Seaweed Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate.

Copper Oxide Wire Particles

There is lots of data & research going into the efficacy of COWPs. A bolus of 2g per ewe can significantly reduce haemonchus & roundworm burdens. Suggested interval between doses is 6 months. No effect against lungworm or fluke. The effect comes from the needles as much as the copper, so a pure copper supplement does not work - you'll need to import COWP from USA.

***sheep are extremely sensitive to copper and can overdose easily, use this technique very carefully

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat withdrawal

ZERO

ZERO

2g / adult sheep

capsule

NONE

Ingredients: COWP - copper oxide needles 

Brands: Copasure (USA - can import through ebay)

Diatomaceous Earth

DE works by physically traumatizing the external walls of parasites. Very effective against mites, lice and poultry intestinal worms - however its efficacy in the ruminant is unproven. Two clinical trials did not find any beneficial effect in cattle.

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat withdrawal

ZERO

ZERO

1 cup / ewe

powder added to food

NONE

Ingredients: microscopic fossilized diatoms, ground into a powder 

Brands: generic, multi-mite

High Tannin & Proanthrocyanidins (PAC) Forage

Tannins and the PACs have been clinically proven to reduce gastrointestinal parasites (Haemonchus & roundworms - no effect against lungworm & liver flukes). The target is to get 50% of the animal's diet to be the high tannin foods for atleast a week.

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat withdrawal

ZERO

ZERO

50% of forage, for 7 days

Forage

NONE

Examples: Sericea lespedeza (legume added to grazing or dried as hay), the leaves, bark & buds of willow, oak & eucalyptus trees, and cranberry vines (PACs)

 

controltips

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

Follow our Small Holding at Orlestone Farm for 'Worm of the week' and 'Plant of the week' tips:

 

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.

Symptoms

  • Kids & lambs 1-6 months old

  • Brown, watery diarrhoea

  • Blood & mucus in faeces

  • Poor appetite

  • Dehydration

  • Weakness

  • Rough coat

  • Weight loss

  • Fading away & death 

Treatment

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​

Cleaning

  • 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

Prevention

  • 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

Lungworm

runny nose