Product knowledge key when dealing with fluke
Reports from the factories this year show a high level of livers from cattle being rejected but a low rejection rate of lamb's livers. This may indicate that the damage to the cattle livers was done in earlier, wetter years rather than this year.
Dawn Meats is testing all bovine livers for live fluke since the start of this year and Dawn's Paul Nolan tells me that while earlier in the year they were finding high numbers of livers with live fluke in them, the levels dropped as the year continued and there were less infected livers by September compared to April and May.
On farms that do have to treat for fluke, the key thing to watch is the product used.
Some only control adult fluke whereas others will also control immature fluke.
Only a small number of products control early immature fluke so you must know which type you are using.
Many farmers will treat for fluke a couple of weeks after housing (along with their stomach worm and hoose treatment) and again later in the winter to pick up those not covered. Otherwise, you have to wait too long to give the fluke treatment to make sure they are all killed. Be careful with all fluke products, though, as many of them have long withdrawal periods.
Rumen fluke became a serious issue a coupe of years ago after the three very wet summers. If you have cattle that are not responding to a parasite control product, eg continue to scour or loose weight, rumen fluke may be the cause. Take a dung sample and send it off for testing. This will confirm whether or not you need to treat for it.
The only two products on the market that will control rumen fluke are Zanil (also controls adult liver fluke) and Levafas Diamond (also controls adult fluke and Type I stomach worms). Both are high volume drenches and the recommendation is usually to give two doses a number of days apart (consult with your vet on this). When choosing what products you are using to control stomach worms, lungworms, lice and maybe rumen fluke this winter, calculate your total cost per head for the winter. Talk to your vet about the different combinations/options and what generic products can be used as you will find there are huge variations in what you could end up paying per head.