Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 March 2018

'Coughing cows' on the rise in herds

FARMERS are reporting a rise in 'coughing cows' in recent years with a major expansion in herds underway, a vet has said.

Doreen Corridan, from Munster AI, said there was not enough parasite research being carried out currently.

"Why have we seen more coughing cows - is it lungworm, it is IBR, is it PI3, is it RSV? What is triggering it?" she queried.

"One thing we do know is the lungworm has actually increased in the adult herd. Our stocking rates have gone up, we're grazing longer in the grazing season, we're grazing earlier and tighter. So that is leading to increases in the parasitic load." She also pointed out that many calves are overdosed with ivermectin pour-ons. Dr Corridan said this means immunity does not develop in the young stock.

MSD, which is offering the Huskvac oral vaccine, said they expect a rise in interest in lungworm vaccinations this year due to the higher prevalence.

Dr Corridan also pointed out that her analysis of bulk milk tank tests had shown liverfluke remained a "huge issue" for farmers and many were not dealing with it effectively in the dry period. Farmers also need to continue to be encouraged to vaccinate for salmonella and leptospirosis.

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