Small Ruminant Update

INTESTINAL PARASITE CONTROL IN SMALL RUMINANTS

Over the years, small ruminants have developed resistance to many dewormers.  Because intestinal parasites have developed this resistance, deworming protocols have evolved.  By deworming animals too often or with multiple products, the worms that are not killed develop resistance to products and pass this resistance on to future generations.  Below is our recommendation for small ruminant deworming:

  • Deworming schedule:
    • Ideally, a pooled fecal sample from multiple animals should be checked every 6 months to determine whether there is a need to deworm your herd.
    • Unless animals show clinical signs, sheep and goats should be dewormed no more than once every 6 months
    • Clinical signs of parasitism include weight loss, bottle jaw, pale mucous membranes (especially evident on the inside of the lower eyelids) and diarrhea. If an animal is showing clinical signs, that individual should be dewormed.
  • Anthelmintic (Deworming Product) Options:
    • While there are numerous brands of anthelmintics on the market, there are only 3 classes of anthelmintics. 
    • When choosing an anthelmintic (deworming product), producers should start with what they have used in the past. The same anthelmintic should be used for every deworming until it no longer works. If an animal has been dewormed and no improvement is recognized, a fecal sample should be checked to determine whether a new product should be used. 
    • A Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test can also be performed to determine whether your herd is resistant to the dewormer you are using.

The veterinarians at Countryside are excited to help you develop an ideal deworming protocol for your herd to keep your animals healthy, while decreasing the development of resistant parasites. Call us today at 785-448-6454.

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