Rumen fluke exaggerated
Published 05/12/2012 | 06:00
Fluke disease just won't go away this year. This week it was again an issue in phone calls and at a Teagasc sheep conference I attended in Leighlinbridge.
The gist of the message is that the rumen fluke version of fluke is overplayed at the expense of treating for the even deadlier liver fluke.
The sheep conference was told that post-mortem analyses from Regional Vet Labs indicated that rumen fluke was only an issue in a tiny minority of cases.
In contrast, deaths from liver fluke are widespread even in ewes that are otherwise in excellent condition.
Rumen fluke can cause a bloody scour while the larva are growing in the gut.
Mature rumen fluke live almost harmlessly in the rumen on the rumen contents rather than from the host.
Problems arise when the flock owner treats for the imagined rumen fluke threat using the recommended Zanil or Levafas Diamond, products which are not hitting the real threat which is immature liver fluke.