27 April 2015 | Online since 2003



21 June 2010|Husbandry Advice,News

Gutworm success creates lungworm threat


Success with worm control programmes in youngstock does not necessarily remove the threat from lungworm, commonly known as husk, warns Merial Animal Health.

With July marking the start of the ’lungworm season’, cattle farmers are being alerted to the symptoms and urged not to assume that successful gutworm programmes also eliminate lungworm. The parasite inflicts serious health and economic damage on stock.

"Lungworm is a killer," says Fiona MacGillivray, technical veterinary manager at Merial, "and even mild infections take their toll on health and productivity. It’s important to understand the disease, be aware of the symptoms, and know how to deal with it.

"There is concern that success with other parasite control programmes can produce a false sense of security with respect to lungworm outbreaks," she says. "We’ve rightly been very focused on dealing with youngstock gutworm infections, to good effect. The disease affects cattle of all ages. At turnout, cattle eat larvae, which pass into the small intestine and migrate to the lungs, where they develop into adult worms.

"It’s usually about the beginning of July that the first cases begin to appear. The irritation caused by the worms stimulates the lungs to produce large quantities of mucus," Ms MacGillivray explains. "That causes the tell-tale symptoms of breathing difficulties and coughing."

Milk yields in adult dairy cows drop immediately, accompanied by an increasingly rapid loss of condition. Some cattle exhibit hypersensitivity to the worms, which may even result in sudden death.

"A lungworm policy, prepared in consultation with a vet, should be included in every producer’s herd health plan," Ms MacGillivray stresses. "While lungworm is by no means endemic on every cattle farm, it’s essential to know how to deal with it, if and when it appears, and how to prevent it becoming a problem in the first place."

"Dairy farmers should be reassured that EPRINEX, the only wormer approved for lungworm treatment in lactating dairy cows, carries no requirement for milk withdrawal," says Ms MacGillivray.

"Rely on your vet’s advice, but generally two wormer treatments – in summer and again at housing – will be sufficient to see off the lungworm threat," advises Ms MacGillivray.

"Don’t forget the weak link presented by newcomers to the herd," Ms MacGillivray points out. "On a farm where husk is already present, newcomers may be ’naïve’ and carry no immunity to the parasite; conversely, new additions could bring lungworm into a previously parasite-free herd. Each will need managing appropriately – remember that the larvae can live outside the host for up to a year."

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


17 April 2015
Agricultural Mechanical Engineer
You will also be required to work independently in farm buildings. Key duties for this role will involve maintaining the fabr...

14 April 2015
Farm Manager - Glasgow
The School of Veterinary Medicine is seeking a motivated, high calibre, working Farm Manager to manage the school farm and it...

14 April 2015
HGV Mechanic
The Group’s companies manufacture quality products for use in human and animal foodstuffs, agriculture, aquaculture, and indu...

14 April 2015
Technologist
Ideally a qualified graduate in agriculture / horticulture / post harvest technology. World is a specialist prepared fruit ma...

24 April 2015
Working Farm Manager, North Yorkshire
WORKING FARM MANAGER, North Yorkshire. An excellent opportunity will become vacant in October 2015 due to retirement of the c...



Top stories you may have missed
10 April 2015 | Agri Safety

The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...


10 April 2015 | Dairy

The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...


10 April 2015 | Cattle

The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...


10 April 2015 | News

Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...


10 April 2015 | Arable

There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...


9 April 2015 | Arable

Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...


9 April 2015 | Finance

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...


8 April 2015 | Cattle

Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...


8 April 2015 | Arable

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...


7 April 2015 | Animal Health

The FSA’s new Food Crime Unit wants the industry to share information, some...