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Economical Parasite Control

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I developed this for a video series for South Africa farmers.

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Economical Parasite Control

  1. 1. D O I N G M O R E W I T H L E S S Economical Parasite Control SUSAN SCHOENIAN Sheep & Goat Specialist University of Maryland sschoen@umd.edu sheepandgoat.com | sheep101.info | wormx.info
  2. 2. Gastro-intestinal parasites (worms) • Primary health problem of sheep/goats, especially those being raised in moist (rain + humidity) climates or during the rainy season or wet periods. • There are many parasites that infect sheep/goats, but the barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is the biggest killer. • Worms have developed resistance to the dewormers.
  3. 3. How do parasites cost you money? CLINICAL SUB-CLINICAL NO CLINICAL
  4. 4. Clinical parasitism • Mortality – death losses • Production losses • Weight gain • Body condition • Wool production • Milk yield • Reduced immunity • Treatment costs drugs + labor (monitor + treat) Obvious signs: anemia, bottle jaw, scours, loss of weight and body condition, anorexia, lethargy
  5. 5. Sub-clinical parasitism • Production losses • Weight gain • Body condition • Wool production • Milk yield • Reduced immunity (disease resistance) • Treatment costs: drugs + labor (monitor + treat) Clinical symptoms are not obvious.
  6. 6. Healthy animals • Unnecessary deworming • Treatment costs: Drugs + labor (monitor + treatment) • Prevent animals from developing immunity. • Contribution to drug resistance due to unnecessary exposure of worms to dewormers. No effect on health or productivity
  7. 7. Targeted selective treatment (TST) on non-treatment • Only treating those animals which need dewormed or would benefit most from treatment; leaving some animals untreated. • Reduces number of animals that are dewormed. • Reduces amount of dewormer that is used. • Increases refugia: worms that have not been exposed to dewormer(s); thus, remain susceptible to future treatment. • Prolongs effectiveness of dewormers; delays development of resistant worms.
  8. 8. How do you know when and which sheep need dewormed? Decision-making tools for making deworming decisions 1. FAMACHA© eye anemia system 2. Five Point Check® 3. Performance 4. Other criteria Usually, combination of factors
  9. 9. FAMACHA© System
  10. 10. FAMACHA© eye anemia system Clinical Category Eye Lid Color Packed Cell Volume/PCV Deworm? 1 Red > 28 No 2 Red-Pink 23-27 No 3 Pink 18-22 ? 4 Pink-White 13-17 Yes 5 White < 12 Yes
  11. 11. Five Point Check© • Also developed in South Africa. • Follow-up to FAMACHA© • Addresses limitations of FAMACHA© which is only useful for blood-feeding parasites, barber pole worm (and liver flukes). • Uses five checkpoints on the animal’s body to make deworming decisions for the other parasites that can infect sheep.
  12. 12. Five Point Check© Checkpoint Observation Possibilities 1 Eye Anemia 1-5 (FAMACHA© card) Barber pole worm (Haemonchus) Liver fluke Other diseases Undernourishment 2 Back Body condition score 1-5 Brown stomach worm (Teladorsagia) Bankrupt worm (Trichostrongylus) Nodular worm Other worms and diseases Undernourishment 3 Tail Fecal soiling 0-5 (dag score) Brown stomach worm (Teladorsagia) Bankrupt worm (Trichostrongylus) Nodular worm (Oesophagostomum) Other worms and diseases 4 Jaw Soft swelling “bottle jaw” Barber pole worm (Haemonchus) Liver fluke Other diseases 5 Nose Nasal discharge Nasal botfly Lungworms Pneumonia Other diseases
  13. 13. Five Point Check® Source: Gareth Bath
  14. 14. FAMACHA© and Five Point check© training in South Africa The FAMACHA© and Five Point Check© systems were developed by scientists in South Africa Training is available through rural veterinarians and other trained persons. famachasystem@gmail.com How to get a FAMACHA© card
  15. 15. Online FAMACHA© Certification (USA) https://www.wormx.info/online-famacha-certification + + Watch video Take quiz Make video of FAMACHA© scoring
  16. 16. Performance as a deworming criteria • Happy Factor™ (European/NZ model) - deworm animals which fail to reach targeted weights • Average daily gain (ADG) - deworm animals with lower rates of gain (combine with FAMACHA©) • Milk production - deworm highest producers (dairy goats) • Number offspring - deworm ewes with 3 or more offspring
  17. 17. Example of TST criteria for periparturient ewes One or more • FAMACHA© > 4 • Body condition score < 2 • 3 or more offspring • Yearling Source: Canadian research, 2017
  18. 18. Targeted selective treatment doesn’t work without effective treatments.
  19. 19. Dewormer resistance • Resistance is the heritable ability of a worm to survive a normally effective dose of dewormer. • First reports of dewormer resistance were recorded in 1964. • Multiple dewormer resistance is a worldwide problem on sheep/goat farms. • Resistance varies by farm.
  20. 20. How to determine which dewormers work on your farm Fecal egg count reduction test • Compare before and after fecal egg counts (10-14 days) • Sample 10 or more animals for each drug • Don’t need to check for all drugs at once. • Sample same animals each time • Need high enough fecal egg counts or enough animals • Can evaluate composite (pooled) samples instead of individual samples to save time/money. • < 95% reduction in fecal egg count – resistance present < 80% significant resistance < 60% dewormer no longer effective as sole treatment
  21. 21. Do-it-yourself fecal egg counting McMaster slide
  22. 22. Do-it-yourself fecal egg counting Can also use fecal egg counts to monitor pasture contamination and identify more resistant (or susceptible animals).
  23. 23. Controlling parasites without drugs or with less deworming • Pasture and grazing management • Nutrition • Management • Genetics • Impactful deworming • Confinement • Common sense
  24. 24. Pasture management to control parasitism • Reduce the length of stay on pastures • Reduce stocking rates • Increase pasture rest periods • Alternate grazing between small ruminants and other herbivores: cattle, horses, ostriches • Don’t graze pastures too short. • Avoid hot spots on pastures (grassed pens, leaky waterers). • Put lambs/periparturient ewes on least contaminated pastures. • Use alternative forages for grazing. Parasites are primarily a numbers game. Sheep get infected with they ingest third stage larvae (L3).
  25. 25. Nutrition to control parasites • Well-fed animals mount a better immune response to parasites. • Animals with low body condition are more susceptible to the effects of parasites. • Supplemental nutrition, especially protein, can reduce the impacts of parasitism. • Body condition score your animals regularly to help you manage the health and nutrition of your animals.
  26. 26. Periparturient egg rise
  27. 27. Managing the periparturient egg rise • Deworm ewes in late pregnancy; targeted selective treatment recommended. • Keep ewes in confinement (zero grazing) during periparturient period. • Increase level of protein in late gestation ration; by-pass protein is most beneficial. • Lamb at a time of the year when parasites are less active. • Manage ewes according to number of lambs they have.
  28. 28. Using genetics to control internal parasitism. • Raise or cross with a more resistant breed. • Select rams that have the lowest FAMACHA© scores and/or fecal egg counts. • Cull ewes that have the highest FAMACHA© scores and/or fecal egg counts but be careful not to discriminate against ewes rearing multiples, as they usually have higher fecal egg counts. • 70:30 rule: 30 percent of sheep are responsible for 70 percent of fecal egg output (find them and cull them).
  29. 29. Use confinement (zero grazing) to control parasites, especially in susceptible animals • Worms are practically eliminated in confinement. • Parasites do not survive well in straw, dirt, or on slatted floors. • Grassed pens can be high risk. • Coccidia can be more of a problem in confinement, since it is transmitted in feces.
  30. 30. There is usually no need to deworm animals that are raised in confinement (zero grazing).
  31. 31. Get the most impact when you deworm • Oral treatments (drenching) • Combination treatments for clinically-parasitized animals: combinations of dewormers with different modes of action • Don’t underdose • Dose based on accurate weight: dose for heaviest in group • Calibrate equipment • Proper drenching technique • Low stress handling • Don’t mix products • Properly store unused dewormer • Don’t use significantly expired dewormer
  32. 32. Use your head: anticipate problems • Consider animals periparturient ewes, weaners • Consider weather warm, moisture • Consider land slope, aspect • Consider pasture species, ground cover
  33. 33. SUSAN SCHOENIAN Sheep & Goat Specialist sschoen@umd.edu sheepandgoat.com sheep101.inf0 wormx.info Facebook @MDSmallRuminant

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