Warning: Mild wet summer leads to increased reports of fluke and pneumonia
Following the mild wet summer and the earlier housing of younger stock on many farms, there are a lot of reports of increased incidences of both fluke and pneumonia on beef farms, Teagasc have highlighted.
It warned that if left untreated, both these diseases can dramatically reduce the performance of stock.
“The fact that a percentage of the cattle slaughtered last spring had live liver fluke present in them indicates that a proper control strategy for fluke at or during housing is not in place on a proportion of farms,” it said in its latest update to beef farmers.
According to Teagasc, most farmers will choose a flukicide based on price and convenience.
However, it warns that it will only be effective if it is used at the correct time.
“Check at purchase what the strategy is for the product you are buying.
“For example, if you are using a nitroxynil-based product (e.g., Trodax) and you are only planning to treat cattle once, you must wait six to eight weeks after housing before giving it, otherwise it will not be effective against all the fluke present,” it said.
Teagasc also advised farmers that conditions this summer were also ideal for lungworm and damaged lungs are often the first entry point for pneumonia to attack young stock.
“Cattle having clean, healthy lungs going into the shed goes a long way towards preventing an outbreak of pneumonia.
“If you are delaying your fluke treatment until later in the winter, do not leave animals untreated for stomach and lungworms in the meantime,” it advised.
“More and more farmers are vaccinating young stock at housing against the common pneumonia diseases, as it reduces the number of sick animals, reduces the labour involved, avoids unnecessary drops in performance and reduces the amount of antibiotics used at farm level.
“Talk to your vet about the best options for your stock,” it said.
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